May 18, 2019:

Last year’s inaugural show drew hundreds of people. This year’s event will be even bigger:

Mary dowling's 2019 2nd annual islip music festival

The organizer’s goal this year is to get 1,500 people to the parking lot behind Mary Dowling’s in Islip for the show which starts at noon and is planned to go until 8 p.m.

The genesis of the event is to introduce the beautiful Islip downtown to visitors and to hopefully keep them coming back to the many restaurants, bars and shops.

“We want to bring more people to Islip to showcase everything we have to offer,” said Mary Dowling’s owner Richard “Kippy” Kuplen, who runs the show. “And when they’re here, maybe they’ll shop or visit our restaurants and come back.

“We’re just trying to generate as much business as we can.”

Kuplen has assembled four headlining tribute bands and six acts in total. You can see by the tribute bands listed below, there will be plenty of rock and roll on Sunday.

Rock of Ages (Def Leopard), Unchained (Van Halen), BonJourney (Bon Jovi and Journey) and Live Wire (AC/DC) will be the featured acts on Sunday.

“All four of these band are heavy hitters,” said Kuplen. “They’ve all played for huge crowds at huge arenas, so we’re excited to have them here.”

Joining them will be the military veterans band 9 Line, and Islip’s own The Decoys.

Last year the festival raised over $5,000 for the Islip Breast Care Coalition, with $2 from each $30 ticket going to the non-for-profit organization.

“We were very lucky” to get chosen as the event’s benefactor, said the group’s president, Gina Cacoperdo.

Coalition volunteers will also have a booth set up, where they will be raising even more money through raffles and games.

The coalition helps breast cancer and other women’s cancer sufferers across the town by paying for transportation to and from treatment, paying for wigs and prosthetics, even co-pays and household bills if needed, and more.

Cacoperdo said the money raised Sunday — and through other efforts — goes directly to the community, “by helping your neighbors.”

“One of the biggest things that we say is, ‘What’s raised here, stays here,’” she said. “It’s a wonderful organization and we just keep giving back.”

Tickets for the music festival are available ahead of time at Mary Dowling’s, which is located at 528 Main Street in Islip. You can also pay at the gate or order at

Have a story or idea for Under the Radar, or want to get your band noticed for free?  Please contact me at the email below.