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Originally Published in The Buffalo News
July 26, 2018
By Dan Almasi

Cobblestone Live! is back in action for year two. The two-day live music returns on Friday and Saturday with more than 30 bands and artists performing on five stages – outdoors and inside – throughout downtown’s Cobblestone district. This is something to celebrate for many reasons.

Music. Local and national acts. Indie rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, funk, jam bands, DJ sets. All during one event, for one price, too. That constitutes a bonafide music festival — a category in which Buffalo’s music scene falls short, but is quickly gaining ground. Headlining acts include Broken Social Scene, The Sheepdogs, Turkuaz, Aqueous, Chicano Batman and Michelangelo Carruba Super Jam.

Bringing life and spirit to a neglected area of downtown Buffalo. The historic Cobblestone District has long lagged behind the adjacent Buffalo resurgence poster boy Canalside strip. It’s about time we push the Buffalo-is-back block party beyond Prime Street.

An added opportunity to take advantage of our short outdoor music season. If you’re not seeing Fleet Foxes at Artpark on Friday, or Ludacris at Canalside, Ween at Artpark, or Lord Huron at Brews and Wines on the Water at Gratwick Park on Saturday, you’re attending Cobblestone Live! — or you’re doing it wrong. And keep in mind that single-day passes are available if you have other plans either day.

Money goes to a good cause. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Child Advocacy Center, which provides treatment and support to children victimized by sexual or physical abuse in Erie County.

Here’s the rundown:

The stages: There will be outdoor stages on Illinois Street and Columbia Street, indoor stages at Buffalo Iron Works and Lockhouse Distillery and an acoustic stage on South Park Avenue.

Music will be played: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Music continues inside Iron Works until 2 a.m. each day. Doors open one hour before music begins.

Food: Trucks will be on South Park Avenue; Lloyd Taco Truck, Mazurek’s Bakery, Pizza al Taglio (inside Buffalo Riverworks), Grateful Grind Coffee, Hawaiian BBQ Inc. (Friday), Mineo & Sapio Street Eats (Saturday), Totally Edible Food Truck, LuGia’s on Wheels, Lait Cru (at Lockhouse Distillery).

Drink: Tickets are needed for outdoor beverage tents; drinks available inside RiverWorks and Lockhouse Distillery (outside drinks stay outside, vice-versa).

Vendors:  Merchandise tent, Child Advocacy Center (info booth), Nina’s Grace (jewelry), Pine Apple Company (art and apparel), Mend Botanics, Hanalin Designs (jewelry), Bkindcity (apparel), TwoGuysGoodBuys (vintage apparel), Spaced Out Studioz (jewelry and apparel), Borderland Festival (info booth), crown (beauty bar), The Hand & The Heart Massage (Saturday).

Other fun stuff: Live graffiti painting by Mic Excel, photo stations, Thistle Creek Alpacas (Saturday), dunk tank, caricature and face painting

Hey “cool” moms and dads: kids ages 12 and younger get in free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

Tickets: $45 advance, $60 at the gates for two-days; $25 advance, $30 individual day. VIP packages are $100.

Handicap accessible: yes

The bands

If you don’t know some of the bands, let us help with this quick comparison guide.

You’ll like The Sheepdogs if you like: The Black Keys, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Houndmouth.

Broken Social Scene if you like: The National, Minus The Bear, Grizzly Bear.

Chicano Batman if you like: Tame Impala, Mild High Club, Intrepid Travelers.

Turkuaz and Aqueous if you like: jam bands.

Golf Clap if you like: Jamie XX, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Caribou.

Andy Frasco & The U.N. if you like: moe., Spafford, Keller Williams