The Heron Soars on the Fourth of July

Categories:  Music    Arts & Culture/Entertainment
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 5:30 PM
The Heron Soars on the Fourth of July by Ryan Smith

It's not a crowd. It's a community -- one really big small family.

It's a space for change, for growth, for the head and the heart both.

It's just ... beautiful.

Those are just a few of the sorts of good things you hear from people who know and love the Great Blue Heron Music Festival -- one of local fest-heads' long-standing (and well-deserved) favorites of every year -- coming up this very Fourth of July weekend on its cozy, lush-wooded, friendly grounds in nearby Sherman, N.Y.

And now, with the festival entering its 23rd year, I think it's safe to agree with what a lot of others have also said of the time, of the place, and of the space that is the Heron: There is magic in them there hills.

Putting that good magic to good music -- and plenty of it -- this year's lineup includes performances by Donna the Buffalo, The Horse Flies, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Smackdab, Jimkata, Mosaic Foundation, Big Leg Emma, Driftwood, Hindu Cowboys, and dozens more.

"It really is my favorite festival – and we've been all over the place," Charity Nuse, of Big Leg Emma, told me during a chat on the last day of last year's Heron. "We have some of our best shows here," she said. "It's an amazing experience."

True, that.

For a full lineup and other details, tickets, directions and everything else you wanna know about the Heron -- present and past -- visit

Ryan Smith can be contacted at, and you can follow him on Twitter @RyanSmithPlens.

Additional Photos:


Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 11
Now Available — Pick It Up Today


Your guide to the 2017 festival scene

Analysis, commentary on Erie’s latest elections

Frank advice from a former mayor to a future one


Erie team ends its championship drought


Scenic speed bumps and ski mask surprise