GEM Festival gears up for second year at Shirt Factory | Local

GLENS FALLS – The huge main stage at the sixth annual Glens Falls Entertainment and Music Festival, which Eric Unkauf says would be considered a professional stage by anyone, will be set up Friday for this weekend’s event. end.

Unkauf, owner of The Shirt Factory, said the larger stage gave the event a different feel and atmosphere when the festival moved to the courtyard of The Shirt Factory last year. He was stunned.

“It was amazing that they were able to get this thing into the property,” Unkauf said with a laugh Thursday. “This thing is huge.”

In addition to several stages of live music from more than 20 bands from across the region, its complex will be filled Saturday with nearly 40 vendors, food trucks and artist demonstrations, including live glassblowers and artisans selling their produced at the artists’ pavilion. The event is being held at The Shirt Factory for the second consecutive year.

Albany’s Peter Annello sings one of his originals with his band at the GEM (Glens Falls Entertainment & Music) festival in 2019, before the event moved to The Shirt Factory. This will be the second year the festival has been held at the resort.

Post-Star file photo

Brian Michael, co-founder and music director of the festival, said working with Unkauf to organize the event has been an enjoyable experience.

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“He has a hands-off approach, which is very rare for businesses and property owners,” he said of Unkauf.

Unkauf said he had no involvement in the planning of the event. He said he was only providing the space for Michael and Anthony Richichi, co-founders and artistic directors of the festival, to hold the event.

Richichi said The Shirt Factory was the “perfect home” for the festival, which announced a partnership with North Country Arts based outside the resort in April.

“He really trusts what we’re doing, and kind of lets us loose and really lets us take the lead,” he said.

GEM brings business

Michael said that for three or four consecutive years before the COVID-19 pandemic, when the GEM Festival was held in multiple locations around the city, the event produced the most profitable revenue day for participating and surrounding businesses. .

He said he didn’t realize the festival had so much impact until a few local business owners mentioned it to him.

“I can tell you that the businesses surrounding The Shirt Factory benefit from what Eric does in general, so I have no doubt GEM Festival is starting to get some attention,” he said.

Michael noted that the festival draws people from across the state — not just the greater capital area.

Michael said Mean Max Brew Works, one of the event sponsors, can make more money with the offsite event. It had hosted one of the stages during the early years of the event.

He said the brewery would earn income from a stall set up at the festival and a farmers’ market, as well as the Glen Street dining hall.

“In general, it just upped the whole industry. There are a lot of people coming to shop at the event,” Michael said.

Saturday’s event

The festival will have three stages where live music will be performed. The “Sapphire Stage”, which will be the main stage located in the courtyard of The Shirt Factory; the ‘Ruby Stage’ in the property’s Cooper Street parking lot and the ‘Emerald Stage’, which will be set up inside Rock Hill Bakehouse.

GEM festival poster

This year’s live music lineup and featured artists can be seen on this poster. There will be three stages set up on The Shirt Factory property, with music starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Provided by Glens Falls Entertainment and Music Festival

The musical program for each stage is available on the event’s Facebook page.

Unkauf said the Cooper Street lot will be where the artists’ pavilion is located. According to Richichi, there will be a row of artist tents located in the pavilion with around a dozen well-known artists.

All music and entertainment at the back of The Shirt Factory – on the grounds of Cooper Street and Rock Hill Bakehouse – is free for all customers. Tickets are required for general admission to the “Sapphire Stage”.

General admission tickets cost $15 and group passes are available on the GEM Festival website. Admission is free for children 12 and under.

There will be artists painting in both sections of the festival, according to Richichi.

He also said that this year stalls will be set up for groups to sell goods throughout the day.

Live music starts on the “Sapphire Stage” at 11:30 am on Saturday. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Jay Mullen is a journalist for The Post Star covering the city of Glens Falls, Warren County and crime and the courts. You can reach him at 518-742-3224 or [email protected]

Elizabeth J. Harless