By Will McGuirk
It's festival season and this year Oshawa joins the list with the debut of Crossing Point Friday Jul 27 and Saturday July 28. July is a full month of music with Mariposa followed by Hillside followed by River & Sky and now ending with this debut festival at Brick by Brick Park just south of Downtown Oshawa.
Brick by Brick, its a good name. This festival has been built brick by brick but the bricks are not uniform. Crossing Point is built on a diversity of sounds from folk to jazz to R&B and funk. The line-up includes Skydiggers, Crown Lands, Annie Sumi, Sarah Fazackerley, Sate, Ammoye, Jxck Kxlly and Patrick Dorie. There will be more details I’m sure as we get closer to the event.
In the meantime Mariposa (July 6,7,8) is a must attend. The festival has a special vibe, a confidence and a swagger to it. Its been around a long time, five decades and counting.
This year featured acts among the scores performing include Alan Doyle, Bill & Joel Plaskett, Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets, Bahamas, Walk Off The Earth and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Buffy is an icon of the folk scene and her presence at Mariposa is not be missed.
Hillside (July 13,14,15) has quite the eclectic line-up this year with A Tribe Called Red, Cadence Weapon, Destroyer, Five Alarm Funk, Megative, Twelfth Day and U.S. Girls. Hillside always challenges, there is a discomfort with the variety of performers and every year Hillside delivers exactly what we need, not necessarily what we want. This year there are a couple of Oshawa/Durham acts included, Crown Lands, Annie Sumi and Mappe Of.
River & Sky in Field, near North Bay, is celebrating ten years. I've been attending the last few years and have loved seeing it evolve. Like Hillside the growth has been not on size but on experience. Each year it delivers more and more. Its valued too by those who have performed with some R&S alumni returning to celebrate the anniversary. Born Ruffians, Land of Talk, Chad VanGaalen, Julie Doiron, Dan Romano, Operators, The Pack AD, Shotgun Jimmie and much more. Its a good drive for us in the GTA but I would encourage you all to head north and see and hear what is happening up there. Its a beautiful location and a beauty festival and folks will welcome you to what will be your home for a weekend, every year.