Canada indeed ROCKS
One of my all-time favourite outdoor concert venues is being utilized for the upcoming YMM Canada Day celebrations. Located on Hardin Street, the soccer field behind the Clearwater Education Centre - in days of yon, the Clearwater School - played host to the first iteration of SummersEnd a number of years ago. The performance of The Road Hammers was extraordinary; the site was perfect for an outdoor music experience.
I remember scoping out the location when we were desperately looking for a spot to put our stage and tents that year. Two blocks from my back door, it was almost too good to be true in terms of its dimension, location and character.
The field, often a hotbed for massive spontaneous soccer games between talented players who have moved here from countries like Somolia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other places, is bordered on the east by boreal forest, on the north by Snye Park, on the west by Hardin Street, and on the south by a sloping hill that goes up to the former school turned administrative centre for the public school district. An easy 5 - 10 minute walk from any number of parking areas in the city centre, access to the festival site will be exceptional. And should the northern lights chose to come out and dance, like they did when The Road Hammers were in town, there is no better place to experience outstanding music in an outdoor concert environment.
The line-up hits a number of targets that I'm still trying to figure out. I loved this quote from a 20-something about the opportunity to see Simple Plan.
"My 14-year-old self is very excited!" she said, blushing at the thought of seeing several of her former crushes in the flesh.
When I mentioned that Mother Mother was playing at CanadaROCKS to a colleague of mine, his eyes nearly popped out of his head.
"Mother Mother is actually playing?" he asked. "You got to be kidding me. They are awesome."
"I'm totally stoked to see Dan Mangan," shared yet another colleague, as we sipped our coffee and anticipated the eclectic and electric line-up for Nexen CanadaROCKS that also includes three local acts that have strong followings: Friends of Jack, Destranged and The Sentimental Gentlemen ( Mackenzie Walas and Joe Howes).
The gates of the YMM CanadaROCKS will open on Sunday, June 30th at 4 pm with the music starting shortly after and going right up to when the Syncrude Firework Spectacular lights up the northern sky at the conclusion of the singing of our national anthem at midnight.
It's a sweet package of entertainment, complete with tasty food and beverages served up by the Wood Buffalo Brewing Company. Tickets for the 8 hours of fun are only $65 (plus service charges) each and available online or in person at Keyano Box Office.
A little grey between the ears, and long in the tooth, I'm a wee bit out of the sweet spot when it comes to the demographic that this line-up speaks to. However, thanks to the wonders of iTunes and the free song streaming website Songza, I'm giving the music a try and liking what I'm hearing. On June 30th I'll be willing and ready to sample some world-class Canadian music, locally brewed suds and a fireworks show that will highlight Canada's 146th birthday. How about you?