TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Despite some hiccups over the last several months, camping tickets for the 31st Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance will be available starting Thursday, Feb. 23.

GrassRoots Marketing Director Russ Friedell confirmed that the county’s most prominent music festival will start selling camping tickets this week, with both on-site and across-the-way camping both available at 9 a.m. on Thursday. Tickets to the festival were already available through its website. The event itself is being held from July 20 to 23, 2023.

GrassRoots had been in some limbo over the last several months, as Tompkins County Whole Health imposed penalties over health code violations found at last year’s event. But after paying $22,000 in fines, GrassRoots met the other two criteria necessary for them to avoid another $40,000 in fines: detailed maps for the 2023 campground and a plan composed by an engineer of how to maintain unblocked internal roadway access. Whitham Planning Design and Landscape Architecture revised the existing layouts for both Across the Way camping and the Fairgrounds to achieve those goals and meet the requirements. The plans were submitted by the due date, Jan. 15, 2023.

If those conditions hadn’t been met by Jan. 15, TCWH stated that the event must be canceled for the year. But, as confirmed by TCWH, the show goes on, with certain government-imposed regulations in place. GrassRoots was granted permission last week to begin selling tickets.

“Thank you all so much for your patience as we have worked diligently to ensure the best possible GrassRoots camping experience this year,” read the announcement e-mail. “We are so excited to put camping on sale, and can’t wait to be dancing together in 2023.”

Rules include that no open flames are allowed at small campsites, camping sites must be at least five feet apart from each other and may not be joined together, only approved cookstoves may be used at across-the-way campsites along with generators, etc. Far more information on both forms of camping are available here and here.

Camping is sold separately from tickets, both of which are seeing a price increase. An 11 percent Health and Safety fee has been added to the prices of each ticket, Friedell told, to help cover expenses associated with meeting public health requirements.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at