New 3-day music festival called Bacchanalia coming to downtown Troy


Chicago, Illinois has Lollapalooza. Indio, California has Coachella. And soon Troy, New York will have Bacchanalia.

Bacchanalia Arts and Music Festival – drawing its name from the Greek festivals honoring Bacchus, god of wine, fertility and festivity, and conveniently sharing the acronym “BAMF” with a cheeky phrase not suitable for print – is the brainchild of James and Erin Kehoe, the married owners of the Whiskey Pickle bar. The three-day festival lands in downtown Troy on Sept. 30. 

“We knew we had a community of great people who want to see Troy become busier, host entertainment and bring more people downtown,” James said. “So this festival seemed like the right idea.” 

The idea of Bacchanalia had been brewing for several years. When James was touring with the Albany-based alt-rock band Aficionado, the Kehoes frequented South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. There they fell in love with the idea of a citywide music festival. 

When the couple moved to Troy six years ago, they realized the city shared similarities with Austin that make SXSW successful, particularly a lot of restaurants and bars and decent walkability. On some weekends, the Kehoes said it’s like every single bar, restaurant and venue in Troy has an event.

“It seemed like it was already happening on a smaller scale on a Friday or Saturday,” Erin said.

Bacchanalia will put coordinated marketing and planning behind Troy’s music scene, working with venues No Fun, Rare Form Brewing, Slidin’ Dirty, Brown’s Brewing, El Dorado, The Ruck, Franklin Alley and The Bradley to bring a festival featuring live art installations and exhibits, pop-up vendors and 149 musical acts. Unlike Albany’s one-day PearlPalooza, Bacchanalia will run a full weekend.

The musical acts are stylistically and geographically diverse. An initial call for bands drew artists not only from the tri-state area but from across the country, and Guthrie Bell Productions helped book the larger, headlining acts.

“(The music) is a lot wider reaching than I thought initially,” James said. “It’s definitely a good mix of local, regional and national artists, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

Bacchanalia Arts and Music Festival

When: Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022

Where: various venues throughout Downtown Troy; main stage is at Whiskey Pickle at 409 Fulton St.

Tickets: $75 for a weekend pass; prices vary for individual event tickets available for purchase at venues



Stretches of Fulton Street and Broadway will be shut down for foot traffic all weekend and 1st Street by Slidin’ Dirty on Friday, Sept. 30. A higher number of Bacchanalia attendees is expected on Saturday and Sunday when the bigger headliners, including rapper Chali 2na and indie-rock band The Nude Party, are scheduled to perform. Outside of the headlining events, James hopes everyone bounces from venue to venue. 

“Walking around and bouncing between things is kind of what Troy does,” he said.

Weekend passes cost $75, and tickets for individual performances will be available for purchase at the venues at various price points. The Kehoes don’t anticipate making money from Bacchanalia (for context, a one-day, general admission pass for the Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware is $99), but that’s not their goal.

“The point is really to make sure that everybody that’s involved has a good time and a good experience,” James said. “And if that happens, then we will absolutely bring it back for another year. and hopefully more after that.”




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