So it has been a red hot summer thus far in terms of Festivals we have covered since June 1st. Not just hot shows but the weather has been smokin’ for most of them. I though I might take a shot at a mid summer festival recap and just do a quick review on where we have been so far in this jam filled summer of 2016.
We started the summer off hitting the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington Ontario. The Festival kicked things off with the 2nd ever paid kick off party hosting some pretty epic bands such as The Cult, Headstones, Glorious Sons, Pop Evil and The Watchmen to name a few. Then following the BIG Kickoff party the rest of the event took place from June 15th thru to the 19th with artists such last I Mother Earth, July Talk and Jess Moskaluke hitting the stage. Being a FREE Festival held every year on the waterfront the crowds are strong every year and the fantastic weather made sure the crowds were out again this year. If you have the chance to take in the weekend or the Kick off party next year we strongly recommend you adding this to your list for 2017.
After we hit up the SOMF we were off to Ottawa to cover the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival that has been going on since ’94. This festival has only gotten stronger as the years have rolled on and this year was another stellar line up. Being the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America they don’t skimp on talent. This year July Talk, Mother Mother, Alvways, A Tribe Called Red and a “Boat Load” of other bands entertained the crowds with a solid performance by July Talk. Check out Sean’s pics from this years event.
Following ODBF we ran head on into one of the summers new comers with Trackside Music Festival that took place in London, Ontario at the Western Fair Grounds July 1st & 2nd. For a first year festival, the talent that they were able to put together on a long weekend in July was fantastic. Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Randy Houser, Cole Swindell, Brett Kissel and so many more taking the stage over the 2 days mad for a heck of a long weekend. I had a chance to chat with a couple concert goers at this one and much like myself they loved the lay out of the venue. The ample parking and ease of getting in and out of the venue was fantastic. However these are day festivals where there is no camping and it kind of loses the “Festival” feel a bit. Not waking up roasting at 6:30 am in a hot tent and kickin’ the day off with a cold one just brings a different feel to the days. But i loved the use of space on this one. And the team running the event were just amazing to work with. With rumbles that a 2nd year is already in the works we have our fingers crossed.
And the festivals kept coming. The following weekend (July 8-9th) we just toured down the 401 and stopped in at CMT Music Fest in Kitchener, Ontario. Another first year festival that was making a HUGE splash with the likes of Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Kip Moore and Tom Cochrane hitting the stage. It was the first time this massive stage had been in Canada and took 14 Transports Trailers to get it to the venue. The festival kicked off Friday and the artists that made it to the stage were fantastic. The Brothers Osborne were crazy and had the fans getting pretty damn excited for the Kip and Eric but unfortunately due to weather conditions the boys didn’t make it to play the big stage. But the folks at CMT were right on top of it and offered the refunds to anyone everyone on that day. Saturday was a beauty of a day and the line up was stacked with Washboard Union, Cold Creek County, Tom Cochrane and Zac Brown hitting the stage. And everyone that played on Saturday sure made up for lost time on Friday night as everyone seemed to have put in a little extra on Saturday. We are hoping this one comes back swinging for 2017 and that weather is on its side.
That same weekend we were at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in beautiful PEI. This was our first official year at the festival. I wasn’t personally there but from what our team told us I sure are hoping to make it out in 2017. With headliners like Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and The Band Perry rockin’ the East Coast Life crowd you know it was gonna be a good ol’ Kitchen Party! Check out some of the great captures from the event.
Then is was back to London, Ontario for Rock The Park / Gone Country from July 13-16. Now this one mixes it up with 2 day so of country that was headlined by Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Dallas Smith and Tim Hicks. This was year #3 for Gone Country and the fans just love coming. I personally had a blast at this one. Getting a chance to hang with Jake and check out his VW Van was pretty darn cool. And the people at Jones Entertainment have been Rockin’ the Park for years. The Country portion addition has been well received. The other 2 evenings of music had Flo’rida, City & Colour, Nelly and Edward Sharpe taking the stage on Friday and Saturday night. Both nights brought different crowds but crowds that really were pumped to see the artists. As an artist to walk out on stage and have the fans greet you and sing along to songs must feel just amazing. The crowds were loving every minute of the weekend. Check out some of Bill Woodcocks image below.
And over the course of July 7-17th we covered a boat load of stuff at RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa. My trusty partner Hendrik Pape along with photographer extraordinaire Sean Sisk covered that one and pulled out some amazing content. The festival had another strong year with acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt and The Cult performing. This is easily one of the best Festivals around. Having attended the festival myself a couple years back I can honestly say that this is a world class event. Strong support from the community and a list of artists a mile long that graced the stages over 10 days in July. Here are some of Sean’s amazing captures.
We have also been out to the Stampede in Calgary along with Wayhome this past weekend. Both stories will be up soon on those events. But, we are only half way there…
Still to come in this summer…
Boothill Jamboree – The Road Hammers, Emerson Drive, Cold Creek County, George Canyon + MORE
Boots & Hearts – Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen + So Many MORE
Manatoulin Country Fest – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Brett Kissel, Road Hammers, Blackjack Billy + MORE
The Havelock Jamboree – Terri Clark, Chad Brownlee, The Band Perry, Jess Moskaluke + MORE
Country Thunder – Alberta – Luke Bryan, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw, Bobby Wills + MORE
Lucknow Music In The Fields – Dean Brody, Lee Brice, Frankie Ballard, Tebey + MORE
If you see us at any of the above shows be sure to stop and say HI!
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76