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The 26th Annual Rochester Summer Soul Music Fest

Celebrating Black Business, Culture and Family

By Tracie Isaac 

There will be quite a bit to celebrate during the 26th Annual Rochester Summer Soul Music Fest (RSSMF) taking place Friday through Sunday, August 26-28, 2022.  A three-day weekend of family fun, Job Fair, vendors, food and an incredible music line-up is planned for this year.

Multi-Grammy award winning platinum artist BABYFACE, known for hits like Every Time I Close My Eyes, When Can I See You, and Wonderful Tonight will make his Rochester debut.

August is National Black Business month created to not only bring support from consumers to proprietors of Black Owned businesses but also to help these businesses continue their impact on economic growth and building generational wealth.

There will be an empowering benefit for attendees of the RSSMF as the event producer, Varick Baiyina of Xperience Live Events is a Black Owned business which is family run.  Baiyina as CEO is following in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps who owned his own advertising sales company and was instrumental in developing the Advertising Department for Andrew Langston, Founder of WDKX.   Baiyina is continuing his family legacy with his son, Amir Baiyina who serves as President of Xperience Live Events.  The company is garnering a diverse national client list in the entertainment and special events production arena.

Including vendors in the RSSMF, who are considered “small businesses” and many of them are Black Owned, was a large consideration for the Community Block Party to increase exposure for the exhibitors to new and return patronage of music festival attendees.

A new addition to the Community Block Party which features family fun, financial and healthcare resources will be the on-site Job Fair for employment seekers. So, bring your resume and be prepared for your next job opportunity.

“As the 26th Annual Rochester Summer Soul Music Fest approaches, we are all excited to continue the tradition of producing ‘LIVE’ quality entertainment and bringing family, friends and music lovers together in an environment that many of us call home and others love to visit,” said Varick Baiyina.  “There is something for everyone and we hope that you’ll have new experiences and great memories.”

The first day of the festival will kick off at 5 p.m., Friday, August 26, with the ROC Summer Soul Tailgate in the Frontier Field VIP parking lot. The evening will feature some of the area’s best talent, food, drink vendors, and family fun.  Lawn chairs will be permitted and suggested.  Tickets are required for entry.

The second day will continue with the free ROC Summer Soul Community Block Party, Job Fair & Back to School “Give Back to Get Back” on Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Frontier Field VIP parking lot. The day will include family fun, food, drink, merchandise vendors, giveaways and presentations by local talent.

Saturday evening’s main feature is a ticketed admission with headliner multi-Grammy award winning platinum artist BABYFACE, joined by Jon B, Lyfe Jennings, and Rochester’s own Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. and introducing Ukrainian Violinist Kostia Lukyniuk from the Eastman School of Music and a few more special guest performers.

End your RSSMF weekend on Sunday, August 28 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the ROC Jam Live “Summer Soul Edition” featuring recording artist and DJ, Fatman Scoop at MLK Memorial Park @ Manhattan Square. 

  • Ticket prices and admission information for the 26th Rochester Summer Soul Music Festival are as follows:
    • Premium 100 Level seating:
      • Both days – $159
      • Friday – $55
      • Saturday – $139
    • Premium 200 Level seating:
      • o   Both days – $119
      • o   Friday – $35
      • o   Saturday – $99
    • General Admission
      • o   Both days – $79
      • o   Friday – $25
      • o   Saturday – $69
    • Friday’s ROC Summer Soul Tailgate – $15
    • Saturday’s Community Block Party is free
    • Sunday’s ROC Jam Live is free 

For more Rochester Summer Soul Music Fest information and ticket purchases, visit