By Keith Sharp
It’s an annual challenge which faces Peterborough Musicfest general manager, Tracey Randall. Drumming up the resources and sponsorships to fund free concerts to be staged at the four-acre Del Crary Park every Wednesday and Saturday during the summer, kicking off this Saturday with the visit of Mickey Thomas and his Starship Band.
But going into its 32nd year, Randall is thrilled to announce Peterborough Musicfest continues to grow in stature. “Three years in a row now we’ve climbed the ladder. A few great things have happened. We’ve got 22 new sponsors on board and the government has recognized our festival for additional funding so that means we have more money to spend on our lineup,” Randall enthused. “As we are one of the few free festivals that run twice a week all summer, we rely totally on corporate sponsorships and government funding.”
With 18 separate concerts booked to run between June 30th and August 25th, Randall is excited about the eclectic lineup she has in place for her 2018 season. “I think we have something for everyone,” she boasts.
Aside from Starship, international talent will be represented by British 80’s icons, A Flock Of Seagulls (featuring Spoons guitarist Gord Deppe) – (July 11th) followed by Howard Jones (July 14th), top Canadian bands, Big Wreck (July 18th), The Trews (July 4tth), teenage heartthrob Scott Helman (July 25th) and Maritime roots star Alan Doyle (August 8th).
Country fans will be entertained by Terri Clark (August 15th) and The Reklaws with Tebey (August 28th) while reggae band Magic (July 7th) and indie band Wintersleep (August 21st) will appeal to more eclectic tastes.
Tribute bands have always been popular at Musicfest and this season they will be represented by JJ Pillars/Dwayne Gretzky (August 1st) The Funk Frequency – Prince Tribute (August 4th), Against The Wind – Bob Seger Tribute (August 11th) The Legends Tribute – Adele, Lady GaGa, Paul McCartney (August 18th) and Classic Albums Live CCR Chronicle (August 25th).
“I’ve always tried to support CBC Music artists so this year we have Bobby Bazini (August 22nd) and for something special we are bringing in The Jerry Cans from Inuvik July 1st as a special indigenous act, “enthused Randall.
To help ease the flow of traffic into the downtown park, the festival will operate a special trolley car (think San Francisco) which will be operational between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to shuttle patrons to and from the park.
“Last year we enjoyed a 14% overall increase in attendance which was significant because we ran two less shows and this year we hope to have a number of capacity crowds (15,000) and hit an average of 8,000 – 10,000 fans,” speculated Randall. “With something like 4 million tourists coming into our region during the summer, we hope to attract a number of these tourists into the park during the festival.”
For a complete schedule of events, please link to ptbomusicfest.ca.