ROC Summer Soul Music Fest celebrates 25 years

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Summer Soul Music Festival is happening today and tomorrow, August 27 and 28, at Frontier Field in Rochester.

This is the 25th year of the historic festival.

“It’s a beautiful day out today looking from the Hyatt here in beautiful Rochester overlooking the river and the stadium,” said Varick Baiyina, CEO of Xperience Live Events. “We’re just super-excited.”

The two-day celebration kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. with the ROC Summer Soul Tailgate & DJ Tribute in the Frontier Field VIP Lot with singer, songwriter, and record producer Al B. Sure! — affectionately known as The Ambassador of the Summe Soul Music Festival. “Today is just a celebration of the DJs,” he said. “And the way that works – people don’t realize DJing is like conducting music. DJs are like Quincy Jones, like Al B. Sure!, producers because you have to control the crowd. You control their emotions with your selections and things of that nature. So we just want to make sure we celebrate that. People don’t realize from back in the day when you heard of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince it was really about Jazzy Jeff. It wasn’t about Will Smith. Will Smith was basically the hype man. The same kind of thing like when I was with DJ Eddie F from Heavy D & the Boyz. I was kind of the roadie and the hype man. He was the incredible DJ and I was kind of the rapper. That’s why you say the DJ and the rapper, or the singer. Again, we just want to take the time to celebrate these amazing, we call them musicians as well because they truly keep this music alive in the different venues when they travel and they play the music. They keep us in the memory of the population so we appreciate them and we just want to show them that today with this tribute.”

Saturday’s events will start outside the stadium in the VIP Lot with a Block Party and then move inside for the Concert. “A beautiful Summer Soul Saturday,” is how Amir Baiyina, President of Xperience Live Events described the day. “We have – kicking off at 10:00 am – our free community block party and it’s going to be going until 4:00 pm. It will be a beautiful weekend of vendors, just really having the region show up and show out not only with our artists and the different merchandise opportunities, but just the overall energy, that soul of Rochester. This is the finale to the summer and now that we have this moment to really honor the legacy of the 25 years we will be certainly welcoming Boyz II Men to really bless the entire stadium and the City of Rochester – just to bring them back and headline, with Tweet coming back home, Sugar Bear and EU coming up from the DC area, it’s going to be a legendary evening.”

Get your tickets at the Frontier Field Box Office or online at

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