Festival Fever: Saratoga ArtsFest, 6/7-10/12

The sixth annual Saratoga ArtsFest takes over a wide variety of venues all throughout Saratoga Springs this week from Thursday to Sunday (June 6-10).

We’ve already told you about some of the fest’s special events, including the Thursday night kick-off with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zanes Dance Company at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center; veteran folk-pop singer Don McLean at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center on Friday; and Kristin Hersh (of the seminal Throwing Muses), who presents “Paradoxical Undressing” at the Saratoga Arts Center on Saturday.

NOTE: You can win a pair of free indoor tickets to see the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Thursday evening. Just go here to enter…

But there’s lots more to see and hear around the Spa City during the Saratoga ArtsFest this week. To give you an idea of the range of offerings, just take a look at the schedule of Caffe Lena where monologist David Greenberger and his band A Strong Dog perform on Friday; blues guitar great Danny Kalb (founding member of the seminal Blues Project) takes the Caffe stage on Saturday; and Hubbard Hall Opera Theater presents Mozart’s opera “Abduction from the Seraglio” on Sunday afternoon.

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You’ll also find music by Railbird, Harold Ford & the Cash Band, Brian Patneaude, Hair of the Dog, Los Elk, Matt McCabe & Rick Bolton, the Mississippi Hot Dogs, the Albany Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet and Big Medicine, to name just few. There will be theater performances by No. 11 Productions, Home Made Theater, the Amazing Kids’ Circus, the Carriage House Players, the Hudson Vagabond Puppets and lots more. Dance performances at the fest will feature the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Co., Lili Loveday, DNAWORKS, the Myers Dance Center Ensemble and others.

In the addition, the fest presents a variety of readings, films, storytelling, art exhibitions, workshops, arts demonstrations, a recycled fashion show and lots of other activities for the whole family. In fact, the fest features everything from a screening of the classic Sex Pistols documentary “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” (followed by a performance by the one-night-only local all-star punk band Jewey Rotten and the Goys) to the interactive children’s theater double-bill of “Caps for Sale” and “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

Tickets, however, are a bit more complicated to explain. You can purchase an ARTSPASS for $35; students $20; military personnel $15; youth (age 5-17) $5; children age 4 and under FREE. For many events the ARTSPASS will get you in free, while at other events the ARTSPASS will allow you to purchase tickets at a discounted price. Still other events that are part of the Saratoga ArtsFest are FREE for everyone – even without an ARTSPASS.

UPDATE: The Don McLean concert at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center on Friday night is SOLD OUT.

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2012:

Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam, 6/9&10/12
Art on Lark @ Lark Street, Albany, 6/9/12, FREE
River Street Festival @ River Street, Troy, 6/16/12, FREE
The Old Songs Festival @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, 6/22-24/12
Friehofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, 6/30-7/1/12
CountryFest @ the Times Union Center, Albany, 7/7/12
Scream It Like You Mean It @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, 7/8/12
Shockwave Festival @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, 7/20/12
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, 7/31/12
SAWFest Music Festival @ Salem Art Works, Salem, 8/18/12
FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/21-23/12

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