Recap: Rye Bread Music Festival 2023

Recap: Rye Bread Music Festival 2023

Photos: Frankie Cavone
Amy Klemme
Tammie Birdwell

Rye Bread Music and Arts Festival made the big leap in year 47 expanding on nearly all fronts. From the music to the vendors and even the camping. While the weather could have put a stop to the fun, the Rye Bread family rallied together for a grateful weekend.

This year’s edition of the festival took place at the Schaghticoke Fairground in Schagticoke, NY with fans rolling in Thursday, July 27th early to get set up for the fun filled weekend. Night 1 kicked off with Neon Avenue, one of the Capital Region’s premiere Grateful music acts. Rye Bread Family Band took the stage shortly featuring an all star cast of musicians including Rob Beaulieu, Jeremy Waltz, Brian Mangini, the “best dressed” Jeff Prescott and Ted Grey just to name drop a few. Everything on Thursday took place at the barn stages which was aesthetically pleasing and while spacious, had an intimate feel. Little did we know what we were in for at the barn two days later.

On day 2, dedicated music fans beat the heat to get out and jam to a heavy hitting list of acts from all across the nation. At this point, everybody at the fairground were Rye F*****in Breading to the fullest extent with incredible sets from Cool Cool Cool, Dogs in a Pile, FUNGKSHUI, Super 400, Rob Beaulieu Band and many more. Fans could watch music on the main stage, the Marble stage and the barn stage.

To us, the Marble stage had to be the best place to be the whole weekend due to its unique location that featured shading, bleacher seating and had plenty of space to dance around. As, the sun went down and music at the main stage ended, it was time for party all night long in the barn which featured a head banging set from Lespecial. What also made their set “special” was that it featured sit-in’s from members of Cool Cool Cool including Craig Brodhead, Sammi Garett and the Horns Section.

Due to heavy rain and lightning, Day 3 was put to a stop after only a few acts but luckily after a couple hours, logistics were figured out to keep the fun alive. On the Barn Stage, Dr. Jah played a set that completely boosted the morale of all fans at the festival. On the main stage, The Seapods were able to play a condensed set featuring a smoking “Leaving the Monopole.”

For the rest of the festival, all music took place at the Barn stage including Oteil and Friends. While it was unfortunate to not be able to see so many incredible acts that were scheduled, the ability to see Oteil Burbridge with some of the jam scenes best musicians in an intimate setting was all worth it at the end of the day. Some of the folks on Brubridge’s roster were Steve Kimock, Melvin Seals, John Kimock, Tom Guarna, Lamar Williams Jr. and Jason Crosby. There were many highlights throughout the set including a top shelf version of Jerry Garcia’s “Cats Under The Stars.” Just being able to see Burbridge do his thing in an intimate setting after playing nearly 30,000 people at SPAC was breathtaking itself.

We cannot wait for Rye Bread Music and Arts Festival to return next year. Great vibes and even better music. Check out the official photo gallery below: