A true celebration of the local by the locals, the long-running Rosendale Street Festival is up to seven stages now, having somehow added one called the “Soy Stage” since last I noticed. Each stage has a known character. The centrally located Midtown Stage, right on the main promenade, might be called the mainstage, were it not for the fact that the Mountain Stage –tucked back a bit so as to not scare the children – typically plays host the wilder and more raucous and risqué bands on the bill.
The Mountain Stage earns its checkered reputation again this year. Headliners upon it include Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones (Saturday at 8 p.m.), who have a huge year on national stages; Shadow Witch (Sunday at 6 p.m.), the new sludge-metal project of the charismatic frontman Earl Lundy, formerly of the Hudson Valley’s beloved funk/rock band Voodelic; and Pitchfork Militia (Saturday at 6 p.m.), the wide-ranging psychobilly power trio who might as well be called the Street Fest’s house band at this point.
The Café Stage tends to feature solo and folk-leaning acts, as does the somewhat more rocking Creekside Stage: a popular place due to its shade and the proximity of one of several beer tents. The roster this year is rich in regional royalty, featuring standouts such as former Felice Brother Greg Farley, Dean Jones’ Dog on Fleas, New Paltz art-rock tricksters Los Doggies, the tap-dancing indie-jazz songwriter Liana Gabel, Woodstock’s legendary Gus Mancini’s Sonic Soul Awe-Kestra, several cool Balkan, Gypsy and world folk ensembles such as Caprice Rouge and Max’s New Hat, local eminence Kurt Henry, Frenchy and the Punk and the legitimately dangerous New Paltz ruffians Yard Sale.
To name a few is to slight far too many, but that’s the way it goes with this stacked lineup: 80 bands over two days, 100 of the region’s best vendors and a bunch of noble causes served by this venerable not-for-profit seasonal ritual, including the Music Departments of the Kingston, New Paltz and Rondout Valley School Districts. Check the schedule and plot your course.
Rosendale Street Festival, Saturday/Sunday, July 20/ 21, noon-8 p.m./6 p.m., Free/donation, Main Street (Rt. 213), Rosendale, https://rosendalestreetfestival.org