BurnT Up Fest (Family Festival)

Another summer weekend here in Southern, Ontario and another great little family festival I got to experience.  In fact, this one is put on by some of my family who are right into independent music and support the arts to the fullest!   In a small nook in the Kawartha Lakes on Burnt River there is a plot of land that hosts a small, tight-knit, community of people who gather to share songs, stories and outdoor fun!

We aren't talking another run of the mill family reunion style events.  There was nearly 200 people who were from all walks of life.  Of course they had one common goal; have fun, make friends.  On top of campfires, cocktails, and live music, there was a complete community of trailers, tents and camp sites loaded with guitars and djembes,  If you could make your way through all of the people you would come to the watering hole.  The Burnt River, with floating islands, canoes, kayaks, kids slides and FUN.  A place to play, relax and shower! 

This is the second annual event, and I can say from experience that there was 3 times as many people this time around.  I want to thank everyone who made their way out to the festival, without you the musicians would have no one to perform for.  Your enthusiasm and support was unheralded and make the experience extra special for me at least!

Friday evening was a little slower as everyone made their way north after work, fighting the cottage country traffic and claimed their camping spot for the weekend.  I heard that Killin' Time Band closed out the night after a little Lo-Fi set took place, a night of rocking reggae and ska.  There was some late night jamming and everyone settled in to their comfort zone, enjoying some cocktails and possibly medicating themselves with the sweet sap of the cannabis plant.

When I landed at the festival on Saturday afternoon The Jah Droppers had just started their set and rocked out some authentic meaningful reggae.  After they were done getting the crowd grooving, a small side stages showcased Peg and Willy; a husband and wife duo playing classic hits from the 50's.  A crooning delight if I do say so myself.  The intimate set had cameras rolling and everyone cheering after every song!  The couples set closed out and everyone began the line (rush) to a GIGANTIC pot luck dinner.  Meanwhile, I started to set up a little section on the MainStage to play some tunes for the folks as they enjoyed some food and relaxed in their lawn chairs and blankets.  I started off playing a group of original songs which was fun and out of the ordinary for me, as a busy cover/bar band guy.  I always feel my covers are stronger then my original material since I play the covers far more often then my own songs (sad but true).  After a few covers, I grabbed the attention of some of the other bands and I think some people were pretty entertained.  Friendly comments "keep going" and "one more" were hurled at me as my set was winding down.  I played a few more and cleared the stage for the ever so controversial Lo-Fi.

I scattered into the feeding area and loaded up a plate that I enjoyed as I took in some super groovy tunes from Lo-Fi, and then the tremendously tight tribute band Mob Barley & the Railers.  These guys are all in other projects and live in various parts of Ontario.  I could tell they are so good, they basically impromptu, jam through their set.  Calling shots, time changes, and endings on the fly, they were certainly impressing me with every note.  I can't say enough about all of the acts and the passion they brought to the stage.  I got the chance to catch up with some old friends and old bandmates who I haven't more then twice in the last couple years.  It was a great experience.  

Next year, we hope to grow BurntUp Fest again.  If you know any bands, artists, or fans who would like to attend, please feel free to reach out and let me know.  I might just know the right people to get your music or requests into the proper hands.  Give me a comment below or send me an email.

Oh and lastly, here are some links to all the bands music, check them out and show your love.

Mob Barley and the Railers

Killin' Time Band

Lo-Fi Band

The Jah Droppers

Peg & Willy

Kevin Foster (your already here)

Special thanks to the King and Taylor families who took care of nearly 200 people for the weekend.  Kind and accommodating for everyone!  Thanks for your support of the arts!

Thanks again for checking out my blog, and maybe check back next week for some big, maybe even huge news on the home front.  Yes, news that has been waiting for a long 7 years! 

See ya soon!