2021 Lineup

The Saratoga Jazz Festival will be back at SPAC on its traditional weekend, Saturday June 26th and Sunday June 27th, in 2021!

Things are a little different this year due to COVID-19 and associated mandates from the New York State government, but there will still be two days of live jazz this summer! The details are below. The biggest change from the typical festival format is that all performances will be in the amphitheater, from noon to 6pm, with 4 bands per day.

Here is the official announcement from festival producer Danny Melnick:

2021 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival – June 26 & 27
In honor of International Jazz Day, we are excited to share that our Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will return on June 26-27 for our first LIVE jazz performances since the pandemic hit. We can’t wait to reunite with you on SPAC’s beautiful grounds for two days of incredible music!

Our exciting lineup of artists along with ticketing details will be announced soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to let you know what to expect at the Festival as you make your summer plans.

This summer, “The Hang” will look a little bit different due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and regulations that SPAC will be adhering to, as mandated by NY State:
All performances will take place in the amphitheater on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27 from 12pm-6pm. The Discovery Stage will not be available this year due to health and safety concerns.
The amphitheater and lawn will be operating at 20% capacity, with all seating in socially-distanced pods of 1, 2 or 4 people.
All attendees must provide proof of a completed vaccination (no sooner than 14 days prior to an event) or proof of a negative 72-hour COVID-19 Test.
All attendees must complete a health screening questionnaire and pass a mandatory temperature check prior to entry.
All attendees must maintain social distancing in the venue and wear a mask at all times (regardless of vaccination or a negative test), unless you are consuming food or beverage, seated in your pod.



We will be announcing the bands and ticket sale info sometime next week or early the following week. There will be 4 bands each only in amphitheater. 12-6pm

29 replies on “2021 Lineup”

Hi Danny, I appreciate all of the time and hard work that must’ve gone into planning this event for this year. I Was just wondering how this will work. Was just wondering how this will work. My family of attendees is 6-10 people. Will we be able to buy pods next to each other on the lawn? It doesn’t make sense that we would be scattered. I would just like to be clear before we decide to come this year.

Thanks and “yes.” The pods will be numbered and on a map on the website so you can choose two pods next to each other. We announced the line-up 8 minutes ago! Hope to see you there. Happy to answer any other questions. Best. DM

Not in small coolers. You’ll see all the “rules” listed on the spac website and you can act accordingly. Best DM

Will we be offered refunds on tickets purchased last year that we cannot use this year? I can’t see being confined, to any particular spot that may subject us to inhospitable conditions during the day and feel we must opt out.

Yes. The Box Office will be reaching everyone who still has tickets from last year to discuss options. DM

Not this year. We are being required to do everything we can to eliminate crowding at the entrances and as we have to do security checks, Vax or test checks, temperature checks and scan tickets, we are limiting what can be brought in so that the entry is as smooth as possible.

I usually buy tickets for theater seating and have seating on the lawn as well and go back and forth with bands I want to see I go under or if weather is bad. Do I have to stay under or can I sit outside too….do I need to purchase tickets for both lawn and amphitheater
Also we need handicap parking….even tho I’m given a space on my ticket can I park in the front lot where I’ve been parking for over 20 yrs…
Can you go in and out….leave and come back if u want to go get something to eat
Lastly when can I call to speak to someone to purchase tickets and get more answers….can u pick ur spot

Good morning Kathy – This year the amphitheater will be seated in pairs of 2 seats only separated by empty seats. We can seat around 1100 people in the entire amphitheater, which includes the balcony. The seat map on the website will show this. The lawn pods will be numbered and reserved and the map will show this too. If you plan to go back and forth, you will have to buy both. The pods on the lawn are specific to up to 4 people only, no more. But remember that the festival is running from noon-6pm only both days so it won’t be as long as it usually is.

The state is not allowing people to re-enter the grounds so if you leave, you can’t get back in. But you will be able to walk around, get food, use the restrooms, etc. Always wearing a mask.

We are announcing the line-up next week and the on-sale info too. You can always call the SPAC Box Office if you have questions. 518.584.9330

Best – Danny

Not sure yet. SPAC typically does not allow that but we’re working on rules for this year. We’ll update everyone soon.

What r the pods looking like and do you supply them
Also how do we get a copy of our vaccination cards to you 14 days prior…we are coming from out of State.
So we can’t bring a smaller bag with some water and a sandwich…or r you selling those thungs

Hi Kathy – the “pods” inside the amphitheater will be clustered seats separated by empty seats. We can seat approximately 1100 people inside, including the balcony, which the NYS Dept of Health has approved. The seat map on the SPAC website will show this. SPAC is painting 150 pod areas on the lawn (each will be 12 feet x 12 feet squares or 12 feet diameter circles) and they will all be numbered. This too will be on the website and people will be able to choose their location. This will eliminate the need to run in to get your spot. We are not allowing that to happen this year (and it won’t be necessary….) You bring your vaccination card with you to show upon entry. Small personal items are OK. And, yes, there will be food & beverages available.

This is great news and I hope that I’ll be able to get tickets tho I appreciate the need to first accommodate those jazz fans who tried to attend in 2020. I just attended the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ and, masks-chilly outdoor-venues-and-all, it was one of the best jazz experiences ever. (Ask me about Robert Glasper waving in Joey Alexander and Orrin Evans to burn up the ivories with him, on the same piano bench for one brilliant, unforgettable jam.) I am so grateful that the Exit Zero festival’s producers put up with all the exhausting red tape and last minute bureaucratic switcheroos to reunite an ambitious, diverse lineup of talent with their fans. Hats off to Danny Melnick and team for all they are doing to make this festival happen this year – it ain’t easy.

So just to be clear…as I see that tents are prohibited… this includes dining flies, canopy’s etc.? Also if you’re only going to allow umbrellas; does this mean only the hand held variety?

Blankets yes and tarps no is possibly a bad rule. Based on past experience if it rains most people will take their tarps home with them but soggy blankets are often left behind. The cleanup crew will regret this new and to my view senseless edict.

The SPAC box office team is reaching to everyone this week, before tickets go on sale, to talk about what your options are. They are going to take care of everyone who held tickets from last year for sure.

If NYS relaxes restrictions around events, will the festival relax its restrictions? Or are things carved in stone at this point?

And I am wondering about the 20% capacity limit. I think SPAC’s capacity for Live Nation shows is like 25,000. Is the limit 20% of this, which would be around 5,000? This does not seem too bad for the festival.

We can adjust a bit as times moves forward but the overall structure of the plan – one stage – 4 bands each day – will likely not change. We’re dealing with everything the state is doing in real time. Living in transition! Whew.

What’s the point of 20% capacity and requiring social distancing and masks if every one has to be vaccinated or have a current negative COVID test to get in? They’ll all be disease free!

Hi Sam – Sort of. We are not going to be allowed to let folks in with “big stuff.” No coolers, tents, folding tables or umbrellas that stake into the grass. You can bring blankets, chairs, umbrellas that attach to your chair. Best DM

I pass, after 40 years attendance. I’m fed up with power-mad admistrators’ incompetent rules. This is America, land of the free, home of the brave. They can do their outdoor mask wearing virtue-signalling without me.

Mike Seidel, you are absolutely right, if everyone that enters shows they were vaccinated and checked for a fever prior to entering than why such strict restrictions? I’ll pass this year myself also, been going for 20+ years and now if I go I can’t bring a cooler, tent, table, tarp and the show is only till 6pm, not worth traveling up from the city to go and see this festival at only 20 percent and all the restrictions. I understand it’s not spac’s fault, just obiding by state rules. As it was before covid the festival was shortened compared to years ago, used to be the last act on Saturday ended at midnight and Sunday at 11pm and that was changed to an earlier ending time. Years ago you would see 3or 4 big names in music each day and last few years only 1 big name for closer on Saturday and Sunday and when I say big name I meant from years ago, George Benson? He can still play but his voice is shot and then they have Chaka Khan, washed up screaming shot voice and a big attitude with the audience and stage crew, glad at least I have a lot of memories from the days when it was the Newport jazz festival and not Freihoffers

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