Experience Stage at The Great New York State Fair Features JAMS FunkFest 2K18, National Acts, Special Festivals, Tribute Bands And More

The 2018 Great New York State Fair’s second music stage is taking a big step up, offering even more great music and special performances to fairgoers attending this year’s Fair. The Experience Stage, located in the New York Experience festival grounds on the western end of the Fairgrounds, will feature more than 50 musical performances over the 13 days of the Fair.

“Just as we’ve invested a record amount in our Chevy Court stage, we’re also making a similar investment in our Experience Stage. We’ve been the biggest music festival in Upstate New York but we’re not resting on our reputation. We also want to find a way to introduce more fairgoers to the beautiful New York Experience area,” said Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner.

The Fair has previously announced performances by four national recording artists on the Experience Stage: Eddie Money, All Time Low, John Kay & Steppenwolf and Foghat. The rest of the lineup breaks into these areas:

  • Special festivals: The stage will present a dozen performances during the three-day Latino Village Weekend, highlighted by the Friday, August 24 performance by Puerto Rican recording artists Grupo Karis and the Saturday August 25 interview of three Latino reality stars.  The following Saturday, September 1, the Syracuse JAMS FunkFest returns, with five performances capped by an appearance by funk recording artists The Zapp Band.


  • Tribute bands: Several top regional and touring tribute bands will perform, including Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Band (Bob Seger tribute), Hard Promises: The Music of Tom Petty, Big Eyed Phish (Dave Matthews Band tribute), Thunderstruck (AC/DC tribute), Dark Hollow (Grateful Dead tribute) and Badfish (Sublime tribute).


  • Top regional bands: Bands from around Upstate New York will perform, including Utica’s Gridley Paige, Herkimer’s Max Scialdone, Schenectady’s Blase DeBris, Albany duo Sirsy, Rochester’s MoChester and others.


  • Special events:  The stage will be home to several special performances, such as the lineup of woman-led bands on Women’s Day at the Fair (My So-Called Band, Bad Mana’s Blues Band, the Jess Novak Band and Root Shock), the Armed Force Day concert from the 198th Army Reserve Band and the Rock The Redhouse Youth Rock Band Showcase on Tuesday, August 28.
The Experience Stage and Chevy Court stage are sponsored by 

The New York Experience festival ground on the western end of the Fairgrounds will also be the home of several special events, such as the two, Family Fishing Days in the pond and the Timber Sports and Forestry Experience Day, featuring demonstrations from collegiate timber sports teams. Each night at 9:30 p.m., events in the area end with a Drone Light Show, featuring 25 drones flying in patterns choreographed to music. Adirondack chairs offer fairgoers a quiet place to have a drink and take a break.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “FIND YOUR GREAT,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov.

Full schedule:

Wednesday, August 22:

4p        DJ Joe Driscoll
5:30p  The Barndogs
7p        Eddie Money
9p        Gridley Paige

Thursday, August 23:

2:45p  Formerly Un-Named
4p        Pale Green Stars
5:45p  Scars & Stripes
8p        All Time Low

Friday, August 24: LATINO VILLAGE WEEKEND (through Sunday, August 26)

2p        David Gonzalez
4p        Zaki Malave
6p        Orquestra Antonetti
8p        Grupo Karis

Saturday, August 25:

2p        Afrikan 2
4p        Bailamos
6p        Latino Reality TV Stars
8p        Alex Torres


Sunday, August 26:

2p        Sabor Latino Youth Talent Show
4p        El Potro Doney
6p        Grupo Pagan
8p        FULASO – “Funky Latin Soul”


Monday, August 27:

2p        Max Scialdone
4p        Blase Debris
6p        Sirsy
8p        John Kay & Steppenwolf

Tuesday, August 28:

Noon  Rock The Redhouse Youth Rock Showcase
2p        Fritz’s Polka Band
4p        Los Blancos
6p        Pearly Baker’s Best
8p        Ruby Shooz


Wednesday, August 29:

2p        My So-Called Band
4p        Bad Mama Blues Band
6p        Jess Novak Band
8:30p  Root Shock


Thursday, August 30:

2p        198th Army Reserve Band
4p        Country Swagg
6p        Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Band
8p        Foghat

Friday, August 31:

2p        TBA
4p        TANKSLEY
6p        The Ripcords
8:30p  Hard Promises: The Music of Tom Petty


Saturday, September 1: JAMS FunkFest 2K18

2p        Anomalous People Band
3:30p  Ignite
5p        Missy Belgre
6:30p  The Blacklites
8p        The Zapp Band

Click on image to enlarge.

Sunday, September 2:

2p        Twenty20
4p        MoChester
6p        Big Eyed Phish
8:30p  Thunderstruck


Monday, September 3:

3p        Ignite Reggae
4:30 p Dark Hollow
7p        Badfish