How would you want to spend a July long weekend in Ontario? How about jammin’ out with some of North America’s top country acts? Trackside Music Festival kicked off its inaugural year with a splash this past weekend in London, Ontario.
I know I have been the guy wondering if there were to many country music festivals happening in Ontario this summer. With a total of eight of them on the books this weekend was the Kick-Off to #OntCountryFestSeason. With Trackside bringing one of the bigger festival lineups to the region. The two-day festival held at Western Fair Grounds over the Canada Day long weekend was a huge success!
Things kicked off with one of the area’s brightest up and coming artists Eric Ethridge capturing the audience first. And who would have thought there would have been a couple thousand people ready to get there country on at 2pm on Canada Day? Next up as the crowd was growing what seemed as every note was played, was Jason Benoit who was giving a lil’ more of what the fans wanted and that was some good ol’ country music. Following Jason was Jess Moskaluke and in usual Jess fashion she crushed her set and had the London faithful wanting more.
One of Canada’s favourites was next to take the main stage at Trackside and that is Alberta’s son, Brett Kissel. Brett of course came out and really had one of the best sets of the day. We all love us some Brett Kissel and the Trackside crowd was no different. At one point in his set Brett stood on stage holding the Canadian Flag and the crowd was letting him know how proud they were to be Canadian was pretty special. After Brett it was Mississippi’s own Randy Houser Co-Headling the Friday night festivities. For those that have seen Randy in the past they know that he has one of the best voices in country and the crowd at Western Fair let him know how country feels, there was no doubt about that. To wrap up day one at Trackside it was Chris Young’s turn to entertain the 10,000+ people in attendance and entertain he did. With a strong 70+ min set he hammered out all the hits.
As the crowd was filtering out we asked a few people what they thought about day 1 and here are there quotes
“I didn’t expect to have this much fun on day #1 of Trackside. Can’t wait till tomorrow” – Sarah from Waterloo
“This was one hell of a Canada Day, Thanks Trackside! Now I need to rest for Saturday.” – Steve – Windsor
Day 2 kicked off with another local band that is raising some hell on the local Ontario Country scene and thats Them Dang Rattlers. They played a fantastic short set that got the crowd warmed up. Following Them Dang Rattlers was Steven Lee Olsen, we had a chance to catch up with Steven earlier and you can catch our Facebook LIVE chat HERE. Mr. Olsen had a strong set that was paving the way for Chris Lane to then rock the Main Stage at Trackside. For those of you that haven’t had a chance to catch a Chris Lane performance we have to say you are truly missing out. This guy brings a little bump and grind to the country world and the ladies in the park were eating it up there is no doubt about that. Chris and I caught up backstage and you can see our chat HERE.
Following Chis was new comer Kane Brown, this kid can sing! Wow! For those not familiar with Kane he is the youtube sensation that signed with Sony Music back in 2015 when his YouTube videos were blowing up. I have to say I was a bit curious to see if he was the “real deal” and yup he is. Solid set that had the crowd singing along to a couple covers of some classic country cuts. Following Kane was one of the hottest pistols in Country music these days with Cole Swindell putting in a solid 70 min set and wooed the London crowd. Then it was time. Headliner Florida Georgia Line brough the good stuff to the party on this hot Canadian summer night. With pyro and killer tracks it was a night that memories were made there is no doubt about that. Florida Georgia line is becoming the sound track to this generation of music lovers and with a new album dropping soon and with some great new cuts they performed at Trackside we got a feeling they have another hit album coming your way.
All in all it was a FANTASIC Inaugural event. Having attended and been part of festivals over the last 4 or 5 years I can honestly say this is ranked in one of my top 5. Great line up, fantastic venue and a team that was working relentlessly to make it your best experience of the summer. A job well done by the team at Bud Gardens, London Music Hall, Invictus Entertainment and Live Nation Ontario. Huge thanks to the staff for taking care of us over the two days of the event. We can’t wait to hear about 2017!
And what the folks have to say after Day 2?
“That may have been the best 2 day festival I have ever attended. Can we get a 3rd day please?” – Rachel – Belleville
“When will they announce next years event? We want to make sure we are front of the line for it. So, good.” – Todd – Guelph
“Surprised at the changes made from Day 1 to Day 2. Well done.” – Steph – London
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
Hangin’ With Steven Lee Olsen
Hangin’ With Jim Cressman