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Sag Harbor American Music Festival returns for another year of local, original music

After 13 years, people keep coming back to enjoy original music from local East End artists.

Jon Dowding

Sep 27, 2023, 9:33 PM

Updated 268 days ago


Music will fill the air starting Thursday night - and all weekend long - for the Sag Harbor American Music Festival.
People have been coming back to enjoy original music from local East End artists for 13 years.
It's a surreal moment for Sara Hartman as she makes her return to this year’s festival. The Sag Harbor native got her start on the very same stage over a decade ago.
"My 14-year-old self is really, really happy,” said Hartman. "Thirteen years later and I'm borrowing a guitar because I live in another country to pursue a music career that was supported when I was a kid. It's invaluable to me."
Extended interview with Sara Hartman:
She now writes songs for pop artists in Germany after getting her start, thanks to other local East End musicians, many of whom get a platform to perform on every year at the festival.
Joe Lauro wears many hats through his involvement in the festival. He’s a sponsor, long-time performer, and board of directors member. He says people keep coming back every year for the original music performed by local East End artists.
"That's what makes this special. That's what makes this music special, this music festival special,” said Lauro. “We're not looking for cover bands. We're looking for bands playing their own stuff."
Extended interview with Joe Lauro:
The festival involves the whole village. All three stages are within walking distance of each other in the heart of the village and even local restaurants will host some performances.
"Not only are you visiting the town, helping the local businesses after the summer season's pretty much over, but you're going to be enlightened by a great music festival," said Lauro.
Aside from the scenic village views, one main draw-in reigns supreme.
"I really would like to let the music speak for itself,” said Hartman. “[There’s] incredibly talented people living out here who have just continued to play music despite any sort of challenges that have kind of crossed their path."
All the fun kicks off Thursday afternoon at some restaurants in the village. News 12 is a main stage partner for this year's festival.
Learn more about this year’s festival here.

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