By Will McGuirk
Great Lake Swimmers will float into Uxbridge on the Springtide, a new Canadian music festival set to fill the streets and venues of the downtown Friday Apr 20 and Saturday Apr 21 2018. Also on the line-up; Charles Spearin, Julian Taylor, Lindy Vopnfjord as well as Rory Taillon, Sarah Fazackerly, Orangabang, Kingdom of BIrds and many more.
We asked co-founder Joanne Richter about the fest.
SC: What was the inspiration for Springtide?
A group of us attended Wintersong Festival in Stouffville in January, some as performers and volunteers and others just as music lovers. We loved its tight-knit community feel, the eclectic mix of venues and quality of the music. We all came together about a day later and just said, “We need to do this in Uxbridge!” It just felt like a need we had to fill. We have an incredible music community here and so much energy to share. Before we knew it, we were starting up a non-profit organization and hitting the ground running. One of our group was pretty tight with Kevin Ker and Heather Cook Scala at Epidemic Music Group, who organized Wintersong, and we started talking to them right away. They’ve offered their guidance as we got our festival off the ground and will be part of our run-of-show team on the day of.
SC: Great line-up - how did you settle on the line-up?
We had an open call for artists, and because so many of our organizing team are musicians with great connections, the word went out pretty far and wide. Settling on the line-up is the hard part, cause we had well over 100 submissions from some really fantastic talent. There was voting from all the committee members, and then fine tuning to ensure we had a good balance of musical styles, equal representation of male and female artists, etc. Two of our committee are also curating special Saturday stages: we have a Youth Stage featuring a lineup of super talented young bands like Kingdom of Birds and Moscow Apartment, and a Workshop Stage with 4 themed workshops featuring spectacular artists like Charles Spearin. We still have lots of announcements to come.
SC: What venues are you using and how are you curating each stage?
There are six gated venues: Wixan’s Bridge Restaurant, Urban Pantry Restaurant, Tin Mill Restaurant, Corner House Pub & Grill, Blue Heron Studio and The Second Wedge Brewing Company (indoors on the Friday; outdoor stage on the Saturday).
SC: We also have two ungated venues: Col. McGrady’s Pub & Grill, Uxbridge Smokehouse
And acoustic pop-ups are happening in these seven venues: Nexus Coffee, Main Street Realty, Wine Kitz, Laura’s Casual Kitchen, The Passionate Cook’s Bistro, Keith’s Flower Shop and Blue Heron Books.
The gated venues will feature our heavy hitters and full bands; our festival headliner, Great Lake Swimmers, will be playing the outdoor stage on the Saturday evening. We have some great solo/duo stuff happening at the ungated venues, including an Open Mic feature. Our acoustic pop-ups are just as they sound, simpler presentation and briefer sets but some really great names.
Festival wristbands are on sale now at springtide.tickits.ca (with early-bird pricing till April 2); a wristband will get you free entry to any of the gated venues. It’s all first come, first served, but the idea is that if one venue fills up we have all sorts of other options up and down the street. The whole festival takes place in downtown Uxbridge, along Brock Street and some of the side streets. . . it’s just a nice springtime stroll.
SC: Is it important to you to have a certain ratio of local acts?
Yes! We’re committed to showcasing Uxbridge talent to both our own community and people visiting town for the festival, so we’ve made sure to target fifty per cent artists from Uxbridge or with an Uxbridge connection. Come out to Springtide and prepare to be blown away!