It was a night Ed Leslie will never forget. September 13th 1969, The Toronto Rock N Roll Revival Concert at Varsity Stadium. A crowd of 20,000 fans packed together to see John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton and The Doors headline 12 hours of classic music with an all-star supporting cast including Chuck Berry, Chicago, Alice Cooper and Gene Vincent – an appearance by Lennon which sparked the eventual break-up of The Beatles.
Leslie was involved in the production of that event and although he and partner Paula Chopik eventually moved to the Kawathas and launched the Havelock Country Jamboree Festival in 1990, he has always harboured a wish to replicate a major classic rock concert.
That desire is fulfilled Friday July 8th and Saturday July 9th when their first ever Haverock Rock Revival show is staged at the spacious Havelock Festival facility located near Peterborough Ont (about a 90 minute drive from Toronto.)
Performing on the festivals twin stages, a who’s who of Canadian and U.S classic rock acts covering the past four decades will assemble this weekend. Featured acts include George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and Canned Heat from the States plus mega Canadian icons such as Loverboy, Trooper, Chilliwack and Kim Mitchell.
Blues favourites Downchild Blues Band and David Wilcox are on the bill, Alex Machin’s A Foot In Cold Water makes a rare appearance, Ottawa’s Cooper Brothers are back in the spotlight along with Sass Jordan and Miss Emily who will be backed by The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker.
“Traditionally, it’s women who are the country music fans and they come to our Havelock Country Jamboree event (this year set of August 19th to August 22nd) and they drag their husbands along with them,” noted Jennifer Goreen, who along with a team of just four other people, runs both Havelock and Haverock festivals. “Those husbands said to us ‘we want our rock show’, so this year we decided to give them one.”
Aware that classic rock bands may seem outdated by an emerging younger group of concert promoters, yet are still capable of delivering powerful performances with amazing hit-filled set lists, the Havelock organizers set about assembling a rock lineup that would bring back memories but would show these bands are still capable of headline performances.
“We went to Metalworks, our staging people, and asked them who they worked with and who they recommended and we checked out bands ourselves, and we believe we have a top-notch lineup,” informed Goreen. “We wanted a line-up that would connect with our 35-plus audience, reflect back on their youth and their childhood but still be able to project a great show.”
Tickets are $250 for the weekend and there’s plenty of camping available on site. Tickets are available by contacting the promoters directly “and you get through to us directly, there’s no Ticketmaster or StubHub involved here, it’s people in the office. We can tell you where the trees are and where best to sit in the shade.”
Tickets can be obtained via phone at 1-800- 599-3353 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full details at www.haverockrevival.com
Friday Lineup (6:30 p.m. to approx. 1 a.m.)
The Legendary Downchild Blues Band
Saturday Lineup (Noon to approx. 1 a.m.)
The Cooper Brothers
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
George Thorogood And The Destroyers
A Foot In Cold Water