Saturday, July 5, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rotaryfest), Plus The End Of The Second Stage?

After a longer than expected delay for the announcements, the full music schedule for this year's Rotaryfest is now official, so this post is headlined by a related LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the Friday and band additions for the Saturday! We also want to address the status of the Second Stage in this post as well, but we'll leave that for the end. As revealed via the online copy of the official program on their website, the all-cover stage at Clergue Park will run from Thursday, July 17th to Saturday, July 19th concurrently with Sault Ontario's annual summer festival, so who's planned for 2014, and who's coming back from last year? Let's start with the Thursday lineup, which like in past years, is shorter and continues (in part) the jazz theme of past years. As such, that day's lineup includes new country cover quartet Crossroad (no relation to Sault Michigan's Crossroads), veteran jazz sextet The Bob Jenkins Band, new local jazz collective The Jaztecs, and classic rock notables Coverfly, so check above for more details! Thursday's bands begin at 6:00 PM, and both Coverfly & The Bob Jenkins Band are returnees from last year's Thursday lineup.

This year's Friday lineup is noticeably slashed from previous years, with bands beginning at 6:00 PM as well after generally beginning in the afternoon in past installments. Still, there are five bands rocking on July 18th, including two hard rock bands, so who's playing? Then highest slotted heavier band (and only one that didn't play at last year's Rotaryfest) is veteran cover/party rock trio Stiffler's Mom, who I believe are playing Rotaryfest for the first time since their reunion, though frontman Greg Simpson has played many recent installments with bands like That's Chester. Nice to see them bringing their entertaining hard rock classics to Rotaryfest once again, so keep their set in mind! The newly renamed Beaumont Avenue (still labelled under their old name The Suicide Kings) will play their second live set since the name change right before them as well, and though their originals will be shelved for the evening, look for an explosive set of hard rock favourites from Beaumont Avenue on the 18th!

The Friday lineup will be headlined for a second straight year by country rock cover quartet Thin Ice (complete with guests) at 10:00 PM, with classic rock quintet Mustang Heart playing at 9:00 PM, Stiffler's Mom & Beaumont Avenue playing at 8:00 & 7:00 PM respectively, and the returning pop rock cover band KT, Kyle, and The Pocket at 6:00 PM, so check the above links for details on the shortened Friday lineup!

The Saturday lineup was already partially announced via the splash on Rotaryfest's website of Toronto-based Led Zeppelin tribute Michael White & The White headlining, which continues the tradition of an out of town tribute band headlining on the Saturday, but now we know the local bands! The last day maintains the lengthy lineup of past years, and fans of prior Clergue Park stages will like the familiarity, with only 3 of the 9 bands not present last year. Michael White & The White will be on at 10:15 PM, with local hard rock cover quartet Griphook returning with new frontman Joel Syrette at 9:00 PM, and all-female hard rockers The Danger Cats will make their Rotaryfest debut with an all-cover set at 3:00 PM! Nice to see both bands playing this year, and it should be interesting to see how the girls do on the big stage! Before Griphook's set, a (one off?) Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks tribute band named Free Falling (whose lineup is 100% locally comprised) will take the stage at 8:00 PM, with country cover quartet Summer Thunder on at 7:00 PM, and classic rock veterans Spyder's Web, Mid Life Crysis, and Obsession playing at 6:00, 5:00, and 4:00 PM respectively.

Early afternoon bands before The Danger Cats include a somewhat mysterious new rock quintet named Domina at 2:00 PM who have a female singer, but I can't verify much else (we'll let you know if we hear anything!), while R&B big band The Reptiles will once again open the day at 1:00 PM. Like in past years, admission is FREE for all three days, this is an ALL AGES event, and set times are listed above. Check the above links for more details on Rotaryfest's musical entertainment, along with the non-musical events that will be fun for all ages as usual! Though 12 of this year's 19 bands are returnees from 2013, and the Friday lineup is visibly shorter, there's a reliable familiarity to this year's lineup, and it's nice to see over a quartet of the bands crossing over into hard rock! Michael White & The White should deliver the goods for you Led Zeppelin fans as well, so don't miss out on all of the action downtown at Clergue Park in two weeks!

Lastly for today, some of you may be wondering about the Tenaris Second Stage on Queen Street East, which has given local original artists and select out of town indie/folk acts their own Rotaryfest presence since 2005, and would have held it's 10th annual installment this year. Well, we can sadly now confirm that the Second Stage is on hold this year, as per a new Sault Star article by Brian Kelly that was posted online yesterday, and will presumably be in the paper too. In the article, Rotaryfest events manager Carolyn Bunting O'Connor said that leaner sponsorship support and a lack of money are to blame for the Second Stage (and the busker showcase Cirque du Rotaryfest) being shelved for 2014, though she hopes both will come back in 2015. She added that they're upset about the Second Stage not taking place this year, and while the idea of hosting some original bands on the Clergue Park stage this year was suggested, they only 100% decided to cancel the Second Stage a few weeks ago and were trying to get it going until then, so there wasn't time. In it's place, Tenaris will sponsor children's & science events for this year, though it's not clear whether it's due to or a cause of the Second Stage's break.

Also, LopLops Lounge (who put on and organized the Second Stage) are hosting a downtown music festival named The Emergency on August 9th that has a similar performer and arts lineup to what the Second Stage may have had, but it's not directly stated whether this is a "replacement" event or just a new concept. Check it out above though! Hopefully this is just a one year break, as it was a great outlet for the original bands that many wish were on the Clergue Park stage! There may have been a high focus on indie, folk, and roots bands, but it seemed like a working formula, and maybe The Emergency can help pick up the slack! Still disappointing, but go support the main stage to keep the music coming! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and profiles this week! Thanks everyone!

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