Pleasantville Music FestThe Examiner

Village Getting Ready for 18th Annual Pleasantville Music Festival

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Music fans are ready to flock to Pleasantville’s Parkway Field this Saturday for the 18th annual Pleasantville Music Festival featuring 18 bands over nine hours.

If July 4 is in the rearview mirror, then it’s time to get ready for another celebration – the Pleasantville Music Festival.

The most highly anticipated day of the year for the village and for music fans throughout the region will be held for the 18th time this Saturday, with nearly non-stop music for nine hours. High-quality acts that include The Wailers, The Record Company and Main Stage headliner Better Than Ezra along with 15 other groups and artists will grace the festival’s three stages starting at noon at Pleasantville’s Parkway Field.

Every year, festival organizers aim to please a wide assortment of musical taste, said its Executive Director Bruce Figler. It’s a major musical event in a small-town setting with food, rides for children, vendors and great vibes.

“So our marketing area is 35 miles around here, and in that area we have people with all sorts of different tastes, all sorts of different age demos, socioeconomic demos, so we’re looking to target as many of them” as possible, Figler said.

For those growing up in the 1990s, Better Than Ezra was a highly popular band with a huge hit, “Good,” which topped the charts in 1995.

Figler said The Record Company put on one of the best performances he’s ever seen at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester.

While the heyday of the reggae band The Wailers may be most associated with baby boomers, there’s also a younger cohort of people who have discovered their distinct sound, he said.

If spectators aren’t already familiar with Margaret Glaspy, many music fans are likely to take to her performance, Figler noted. She has an edge to her performances that he described as an “off-the-beaten-path taste in music.”

The Main Stage isn’t the only place fans will find great music. The Party Stage and the Chill Tent Stage will also be teeming with talent. Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is the feature performer in the Chill Tent while indie-pop The Collection headlines the Party Stage.

Then there are the 25-and-under musicians who earned a spot on one of the three stages for winning the Battle of the Bands competition that the festival holds each spring.

A new twist is the inclusion of Kenny Green to kick off the day in the Chill Tent. Green, a Bedford native, is known for his music that captures the imagination of children and families. Figler said that Green is a one of the most sought-after children’s performers around.

“This is a music festival for families, so why not have music for everyone,” Figler said.

Despite the logistical challenges of putting together a major music festival for the village that has drawn upwards of 5,000 people in some years, and doing so on a finite budget, it is also a chance to showcase the community, said Mayor Peter Scherer. The cache of having the festival has value for Pleasantville and those who have discovered the village as a result of the day.

“For lots of people who come, including lots of Pleasantvillians, it’s one of the very best days of the year, and I can tell you that everywhere I go, folks who don’t live in Pleasantville are aware of the music festival, and it certainly has burnished our reputation as an arts community throughout the whole region,” Scherer said.

From a fiscal perspective, the goal is to break even to put on the kind day that will have people return, he said. Pleasantville sets aside a budget of several hundred thousand dollars and hopes to have enough tickets sold to cover expenses.

The festival’s sponsors, including Executive Sponsor Northwell Health for the third year in a row, have also assisted the village, Scherer said.

“There isn’t any question that as an economic matter it’s a steeper climb every year,” he said.

Then there’s the weather. Last year, for the first time in the event’s history, it had a major impact with thunderstorms in the afternoon causing two delays.

Figler said this year, the village focused on tightening an evacuation plan in case strong storms strike along with other steps to ensure the safety of the crowd. As of Monday afternoon, was calling for about a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and highs in the upper 80s.

“We’re hoping and expecting a good day and the weather gods, we hope, are on our side,” Scherer said.

Tickets through Friday are $75 for adults (22 to 64 years old) and $55 for students (21 and under) and seniors (65 and up). At the gate, the prices rise to $85 and $60. Children under 12 get in for free with an adult who buys a ticket.

For more information about tickets and the performers and schedule, visit





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