Downtown Binghamton once again will be filled with the sounds of rock, blues, country and even a little jazz when Blues on the Bridge returns on Saturday (Sept. 17).

The free event began as an opportunity to give talented local bands a larger stage and a bigger audience than they have at bar gigs but has blossomed into a full-fledged festival with thousands of attendees and dozens of vendors. Anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 people are expected to attend.

Although Blues on the Bridge will, as usual, be centered around the South Washington Street Bridge in downtown Binghamton, not everything is same old, same old. This 20th edition of the fest is on a different weekend (two weeks after Labor Day instead of one), and, for the first time, it will be on a Saturday instead of a Sunday. Organizers Donny Wilkins and Tom Martinos hope the change will encourage more music lovers and their families to attend without worrying about work or school obligations the next day.

The regional flavor of the event has remained, though, with all the musical acts for 2022 hailing from the Southern Tier and Central New York. The biggest act in the lineup is The Rods, a Cortland-based heavy metal act that rocked its way through the 1980s on tours with Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead, Metallica and others.

A few pointers: Coolers are allowed, but glass is not. Open container laws are in effect, as well all state and local smoking laws. Food tents and other vendors will sell their wares, and there also will be a fenced-off beer area. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Learn more about the event at

The rain date is Saturday, Sept. 24. Check for any announcements.

Here’s the performance schedule:

  • Noon: String of Pearls
  • 12:40 p.m.: Homebrew
  • 1:20 p.m.: Caviar and Grits
  • 2:30 p.m.: Erin Mulroony and The Backwoods Blues Project
  • 3:20 p.m.: The Parlor Cats
  • 4:10 p.m.: Pasty White and Double Wide
  • 5 p.m.: Stratcat Willy and The Strays
  • 5:50 p.m.: Rooster and The Roadhouse Horns
  • 6:30 p.m.: Planet Smith
  • 7 p.m.: Wreckless Marci
  • 7:45 p.m.: The Rods
  • 8:45 p.m.: Beard of Bees and The Hive

Special appearances by Joe Stento, Tim Ruffo and Jeff Stachyra (of Dirt Farm) also are planned.