The Great Blue Heron Festival is three days and nights of eclectic music on two stages with a multitude of music and enrichment workshops in six additional spacious tents. Guests will experience a variety of musical performances covering a wide range of styles, from country to alt-rock to folk to reggae, and everything in between. Past artists at this festival include The Wailers, The 10,000 Maniacs, Alison Pipitone, and Donna the Buffalo.
RV camping is available in multiple locations dependent upon the size of your RV and whether you want to be in the thick of the festival or prefer a quieter place to set up your “home base.” RV camping and parking prices are in addition to admission to the festival, and different lots feature different rates depending upon proximity to the heart of the event. Camping options feature spaces deep in the woods and spots closer to the action and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
There is far more than just music at the Great Blue Heron Festival. With an emphasis on peace, art, and family fun, the festival offers access to the beach, crafts, and games in the Kids Tent, and art, games, and projects in the Teen Tent.
Weekend passes range from $115 - $130 and are available by pre-sale, at the gate, and at stores within the Western New York area. The rate for day passes varies per day, with higher prices on Saturday and lower prices on Friday and Sunday, but expect to pay somewhere between $40 - $60. Youth tickets may be around $50 for ages 12 - 15, while children under the age of 12 receive free admittance. Patrons must buy weekend wristbands if they want to purchase RV camping stickers. Visit https://greatblueheron.com for current ticket prices.
The Great Blue Heron Festival is held in Sherman, New York, about 85 miles from Buffalo and 35 miles from Erie. Campers can follow a GPS to get to the Heron Farm, the host site for the event, but it is recommended that guests use signage and the festival map for directions to specific parking lots and campsites as they approach the venue. Travelers can check road conditions online or by phone via 511 services for New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
There is a separate parking fee for each lot dictated by proximity to the center of the event. Green and Orange lots offer parking spots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Blue and Purple lots have room for larger RVs and campers. Red lots are parking only areas for people who are not camping overnight. Guests are not allowed to save spaces, and while patrons are welcome to merge gear and spaces with other guests, stickers must be purchased and displayed for each space. Attendees are also asked to keep spaces closely in line with each other.
Sherman, New York, is a rural destination, and public transportation to the festival is limited to driving your RV or vehicle. On the festival grounds, shuttles services are available to and from all parking lots and camping sections.
Onsite camping is available for RVs, cars, and tents. While tickets can be purchased in advance, RV parking spots are available first-come, first-serve. Access to the campground requires wristbands and clearly displayed stickers on all vehicles, including RVs. RV camping is located in all open parking lots and limited to a 20’ x 20’, although you can purchase two spots for longer RVs. No vehicles are allowed in tent camping areas; however, the parking lots are only a few minutes’ walk from the campgrounds themselves.
For guests who want to camp off-festival grounds, there are options within a 20-minute drive. The Chautauqua Gorge State Forest offers primitive camping in a gorgeous natural setting but does not guarantee site availability. Camping along Lake Chautauqua offers options for RVs with hookups and amenities for campers who want more comforts and less roughing it.
The Great Blue Heron event is a close-knit festival. Everything is within a ten-minute walking distance. If you don’t feel like walking, the festival provides many different shuttles that will pick you up and drop you off from any parking lot on the event grounds. Special shuttle services for disabled patrons are also readily available. In the past, shuttle rides have been complimentary.
Although there are plenty of wooded and shady areas on site, plan to wear breathable clothing such as shorts and light shirts. Headgear to protect you from hours of sun exposure is also a smart idea. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes for the festival and boots if you choose to hike in the woods. Because you’ll be camping overnight, bring appropriate clothing for sleeping in cooler temperatures.
The Great Blue Heron is a family-friendly event, and backpacks and purses are allowed into the venue. Outside food and drink items are allowed on-premises, but glass bottles are highly discouraged. Vendors are also on site to provide additional food and drink options. Due to local regulations, firewood cannot be brought on site.
Due to sun exposure, sunscreen is recommended for all festival-goers. There are some shaded areas in and outside of the festival grounds for guests to cool off. Medications are allowed on site although they are subject to search by security at the festival entrance. Alcohol can only be consumed by patrons over the age of 21.
Remember to fill the water and fuel tanks in your camper before arriving; amenities on site are limited and hookups may not be available. Cooking and campfire regulations may vary in the event of dry weather conditions. Due to the remote community, grocery options may be limited, so you may find it simplest to fill your rig's shelves on the way to the Heron Farm site.
For guests who want to eat off-site, there are a variety of restaurants in the town of Sherman. The town offers pizza joints, casual dining, cafes, diners, bar and grills, and more. Many restaurants offer some excellent culinary staples, such as Mexican-American, Italian, and seafood. Festival guests may find it simplest to enjoy these options on the way to or from the event for simplicity at the campground.
Food and beverage vendors are stationed in various areas around the festival grounds. Many stations are located in the main thoroughfare, with two main outposts, the Cafe in the Woods and The Blurritto offering good eats on the outskirts of the grounds. The Heron’s Cafe in the Woods offers coffee, soft drinks, pizza, hot pretzels, baked goods, and more. The festival midway provides several exotic meal selections, fresh-cooked fare, and cold beverages. ATMs are available by the Merch Booth and at the HQ Barn. There are plenty of vendors on site at the festival to provide guests with food and water.
Security is relaxed at the Great Blue Heron Festival. The main check-in point is at the front entrance to the event. The HQ Barn and Security Hole are primary locations for assistance from professional security, and both places are staffed at all times. Police and fire emergency services are nearby if needed. Although there is a Lost and Found section available in the HQ Barn, it is recommended that you not bring valuables with you to the festival. No pets are allowed into the event or on the campgrounds.
Temperatures average around 78℉ in Sherman, New York, at this time of year. The festival typically enjoys dry, sunny weather in early July. However, on occasions of rain, there are plenty of tents and covered areas to stay until the showers stop.
The festival has a First Aid building staffed by professional first aid volunteers. All staff are linked via radio communications. The Medical building also doubles as a lost and found area and for lost children to be reunited with their parents. Pharmacy and emergency care services are situated within a 40-minute drive of the Heron Farm, so it may be preferable to bring needed items with you.