|View from the Hill Part 2. September 11th 2019|
Well here we are, exactly one month after our 40th festival closed. And what a festival we had. All the artists were at the high standards I expected and several were well above them.
Amongst the highlights for me were:
The new sound system on Mainstage. I have never heard better sound than at Brandi’s set on Friday night.
The success of our Young Adult tickets (18-24) We sold over 1,400 of this new weekend pass.
It did not rain on Sunday, we have started to beat the forecasts again. As we watched the heavy showers approach, they dropped off the radar, one by one, at Leduc. If you know anyone from Leduc, buy them a beer.
There were musical highlights every day.
Our volunteers were brilliant, as they are every year. All the crews that deal with patrons and artists were exceptional (transport, food, technical, hospitality, security etc) Two crews however, must receive special mentions.
Our Site crew had to deal with an exceptionally wet summer, so they had to work extra hard before, during and after the festival. And they did so magnificently.
The Beer Tent crew has been pretty beaten up by the increase in capacity from 2000-4000 over the past few years. As a result, there are major upgrades coming to this area and I am betting that you will love the changes for 2020.
But it wasn’t perfect, which is always my goal, so here are some areas that we need to fix.
Jim Cuddy and Bahamas on a Stage 2 session, oops, that should have been on Stage 3 for the large crowd. The Finale was a also bit of an organizational mess. Both of these are on me. I will do better in both areas.
As we have 2,700 people plus working at the festival and as we only get together once a year, some communication foul-ups are almost inevitable. The Friday night late opening due to some site issues was poorly communicated within our organization and also poorly communicated to you. This should not happen again (although it might…) and Joe Nolan should not have been asked to leave the session on Stage 5 when JS Ondara joined it late. This was not my plan and I have apologised to Joe. We don’t know yet why this happened.
It was also very difficult to navigate our site for those with mobility problems. I am hoping that the Gallagher Park Masterplan will address this.
Booking for our 2020 festival (August 6-9) has started brightly. Having John Prine as our first artist confirmed shows just how far we have come in 40 years. If you need a musical lift, check out one or more of the following shows from the Live at the Winspear lineup.
September 20 Buffy Sainte-Marie – for information and tickets, click here
September 25 Rosanne Cash – for information and tickets, click here
October 17 DakhaBrakha – for information and tickets, click here
October 30 Richard Thompson – for information and tickets, click here
I hope to announce some 2020 signings early in the New Year. Until then, slainte (to your health), and thanks for being such a wonderful audience.
Terry Wickham (Producer)