Where Have All The Good People Gone
NEW GLASGOW – There was no shortage of Canadian talent at this year’s Riverfront Jubilee, though attendance was noticeably lower some nights at the main stage.
© AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS
Steven Page mixed his past as Barenaked Ladies front man and his solo career during an energetic performance at the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee.
Headliner Sam Roberts Band brought in the largest crowd of the weekend, racking up roughly 3,000 patrons, which was what organizers were expecting.
“We knew going into it that was going to be our big night. We were prepared for it that way,” executive director Carlton Munroe said.
Danko Jones and Steven Page didn’t pack the venue, but Munroe said they were pleased with the turnout and the festival as a whole.
“We’ve had some very energetic crowds and some wonderful amazing performances that I think people will go back and talk about for the rest of their life. That’s really what it’s all about.”
Attendance numbers weren’t immediately available, Munroe said, citing a problem with the bracelet scanners early in the weekend.
Munroe compared last year’s sellout crowd for Great Big Sea to the other two nights of the weekend, stating that it didn’t reach capacity the rest of the weekend last year, either.
“Obviously the headliner popularity is a big factor. Everything is relative too when it comes to the lineup.”
For a multi-artist festival, Munroe said the numbers tend to come at the end of the night for the last two acts.
However, the festival tries to encourage ticket holders to get their full value by coming earlier and enjoying opening acts like The Meds, SoHo Ghetto and Rain Over St. Ambrose.
“Me as a music fan, that’s what I do. But it’s the same at every festival. You always get your peak time with the headliner and the others – you get the buildup leading up to that.”
Other venues with the festival saw large crowds, especially the late night stage at Acro Lounge, which Munroe said was part of the long-term plan when he took over the festival in 2009.
“I wanted to branch out and make this a town-wide event and have multiple venues,” he said, citing the daytime programming at Carmichael Park and the Songwriters’ Circle at Celtic Circle. “The Acro late night stage has been off the charts as far as success. People want to enjoy some more great live music once things wrap up down here.”
He mentioned that not only do people travel to be a part of the audience, there’s a large volunteer-tourism aspect as well.
“People come from other parts of the province to come help volunteer, but the large part is the community that comes together to put this on. Really, at the end of the day, it’s by the community and for the community,” he said, gushing over the dedication the board of directors and volunteers put in each year.
Though he wouldn’t say too much, Munroe did divulge that planning is already underway for 20th anniversary of the festival, calling it a ‘pinnacle year for the festival.’
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda