About The Festival

January 10th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

The 41st annual Freihofer’s Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24, 2018 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY USA.

Founded in 1978 by jazz impresario George Wein, Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is the fifth longest-consecutive-running jazz festival in North America. Initially founded as “the Newport Jazz Festival at Saratoga” the weekend event was renamed Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in 1998. The two-day, two-stage festival continues to be one of the largest jazz music events in North America, beloved by audiences for both the remarkable annual line-up of international jazz talent and the spectacular setting at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the idyllic Saratoga Spa State Park.

Tips for Festivalgoers

  • Traditionally the gates open at 10am Saturday and 11am Sunday.
  • Hotels in the area fill up early for the festival weekend!
  • The closest airport with commercial service is Albany International Airport (ALB), about one half hour away from the festival by car.
  • SPAC’s Ground Rules for the festival include:
    • No pets, roller-blades, skateboards or bikes
    • No video or recording equipment – still cameras OK
    • No grills, hibachis or cooking equipment
    • No glass of any kind
    • No beer kegs or beer balls
    • It is a VIOLATION of NYS Law to carry or possess any firearm, knife, weapon or fireworks on Park Property

Do you have a tip for fellow festival-goers? If so, feel free to leave a comment below to let them know!

Historical Lineups

  1. George
    June 30th, 2019 at 12:00 | #1


    Yes you can re-enter. Get a wrist band at the gate before you leave.

  2. Phil
    June 30th, 2019 at 09:24 | #2

    Can we re-enter the Jazz Fest? Its not prominently stated on the website.

  3. jeff
    February 18th, 2019 at 17:02 | #3

    I have not attended in 20 years (because of kids – now they are out of the house)
    Can you still bring your own beer in? Can you bring a pop up canopy for lawn seats?

  4. Danny Melnick (producer)
    June 20th, 2018 at 14:35 | #4

    @steve Dolman
    Hi Steve – go to the official festival website at spac.org and sign-up here:


    Best DM

  5. steve Dolman
    June 15th, 2018 at 19:48 | #5

    This is the first that I am hearing about the festival. I cannot attend this year because of lack of preparation time so I would like to possibly attend next year. How do I get on to the mailing list for next year?

  6. Steve
    June 22nd, 2017 at 12:35 | #6

    My wife & I started attending in 1981 with my brother and sister-in-law. It was by far our favorite event of the year. Such a cool place to listen to music, find a great place to eat and enjoy a couple of drinks. We’ve seen so many greats over the years. Old guard cats: Miles, Dizzy, Lionel, Sarah, Carmen McCrae, Younger ones: Grover,Wynton,Jarreau,Sanborn. The list seems endless, noon to midnight packed with Jazz. I understand the concerns over the recent lineups, but it has to be tough competing for artists in today’s world. There are so many more Jazz/Music Fests now competing in the short summer season. I also understand that Chaka Khan would draw better than Steve Khan. We will be returning this year for the first time in a few years. It is not so much the lineup that brings us back but the nostalgia and the atmosphere of the festival. Such a great vibe, beautiful place to hang and get away for a couple of days. For me, way worth the price. And i’m sure we’ll see someone new that surprises. It will be bitter sweet this year as my brother is no longer here. Life is short, enjoy while you are able.

  7. george potts
    June 30th, 2015 at 16:27 | #7

    snarky puppy, and ronnie earl and the broardcasters were out standing

  8. george potts
    June 30th, 2015 at 16:25 | #8

    frankie beverly, losing his voice,sunday show i thought was better than sat. show. over all go shows. i look forward to next year

  9. March 17th, 2015 at 08:54 | #9

    yes, however if you want better seating call ahead of time. this concert could attract a lot of people

  10. March 17th, 2015 at 08:52 | #10

    @Ricardo Simmons
    call spac, they will sell you tickets or they will give you info, on how to purchse them

  11. jjones
    June 24th, 2013 at 10:52 | #11

    Do you allow vendors to showcase their merchandise during this event.

  12. Michael Jarrett
    February 19th, 2013 at 20:54 | #13

    I would to purchase tickets for Jazz festival both days. how much and where do I go to purchase thank you.

  13. September 29th, 2012 at 08:03 | #14

    TAKE A CHARTER BUS to Saratoga Jazz Festival 2013
    Each year in last weekend of June, tens of thousands of Jazz lovers throughout the country flock to the suburbs of Saratoga Springs NY to attend this weekend of Jazz
    This is an exciting weekend and all are invite to participate in this Charter bus trip hosted by Thompson’s Jazz Posse
    E-mail us to get a list of dates and prices as soon as possible. If you’d like to join the mail list, e-mail us with your name, e-mail address,

  14. leon
    June 27th, 2012 at 22:41 | #15

    are you allowed to grill in the parking lot and setup a tent? or do they mean no grills inside the gates?

  15. Anonymous
    June 26th, 2012 at 10:33 | #16

    u can get your tix there

  16. Ricardo Simmons
    February 15th, 2012 at 08:34 | #17

    I am seeking to buy tickets for The 35th annual Freihofer’s Jazz Festival, I don’t see a link to that event on this site, with prices for tickets for individuals, please help.

  17. Jack
    January 17th, 2012 at 08:14 | #18

    For those who are extremely gifted at saving a few bucks by bringing their own favorite foods..go for it. However, over the years I have taken less and less as the eating options at SPAC have gotten better and better. Why haul garbage and gear when you have access to a full bar, craft brews, and food vendors ranging from greens and beans to jambalaya to even varied styles of BBQ? Yes, the beer may be pricey, but the food has been well worth waiting on line for over the last few fests. I recommend packing lightly to make arrival and departure a breeze.

  18. Chuck
    June 30th, 2010 at 08:03 | #19

    Best of 2010 Fest = Mario Abney Sextet. Worst of 2010 Fest = Al Jarreau. He should be removed from the regular rotation. He doesn’t sing and that baby talking act is annoying.

  19. Norma
    June 18th, 2010 at 14:29 | #20

    Can you purchase tickets for the jazz festival at the festival instead of on line?