Rotaryfest Stage 1 lineup, as our annual summer festival again welcomes plenty of covers-focused bands to the outdoor Clergue Park stage over the July 15th weekend! Though the complete program/schedule is not out yet for the festival proper, the full band lineup for all three nights (and Stage 2, more on that tomorrow) can now be seen on Rotaryfest's website's music page, complete with the requisite biographies for each band, so who can you look for at this year's FREE & ALL AGES lineups? Experimenting with themed daily lineups this year, the Thursday, July 14th lineup is branded "A Musical Journey Through The Years", but like in the past, remains hard rock-free. Bands playing this year include 1960s classic rock cover quartet The Peace Vibe at 10:00 PM, newer classic rock quintet Jukebox Deluxe at 9:00 PM, 50s-60s classic rockers Flathead Ford at 8:00 PM, country veterans Crossroad at 7:00 PM, and new jazz/blues sextet Lise White & The Sault Crew at 6:00 PM.
Aside from Crossroad & Flathead Ford (each two time Rotaryfest veterans in recent years), the Thursday bands are newcomers to the festival, so fans who crave different acts should enjoy the variance and classic rock on the 14th! It's worth noting that this will be the first Thursday lineup in memory without jazz veterans The Bob Jenkins Band, who had played Rotaryfest for (I believe) 16 straight years. I know how respected Bob is in the local scene, especially for still playing live regularly well into his 80s, and hopefully all is well with him and the band!
Stiffler's Mom in their second Rotaryfest appearance in the past three years, and they should deliver a fun set to cap the night at 10:00 PM! R&B cover veterans The Reptiles will return after a year's hiatus as co-headliners for their sixth Rotaryfest set since 2009, and you can see them that night at 9:00 PM. Classic rock veterans Mustang Heart will continue their 12+ year run as Rotaryfest mainstays with a set at 8:00 PM, while new hard rock quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will make their festival debut that evening at 7:00 PM. If you ever wanted to see Havadder or Turner Up at Rotaryfest, this may well be the closest thing we'll get, so keep their debut in mind! Friday's lineup will be opened by classic rockers Mid Life Crysis in their fifth straight Rotaryfest set, and you can see them hit the stage at 6:00 PM.
Not a bad lineup for Friday, and while all of the bands (save for The Millionaires) are Rotaryfest veterans, only two of them played last year, so things are varied a bit for fans of classic & hard rock! As usual, this is FREE & ALL AGES, so keep this lineup in mind for Friday the 15th at Clergue Park!
As for the main Saturday lineup on July 16th at Stage 1 (which is themed as "Saturday Sound Smorgasbord"), nine bands are scheduled, including for the third time in four years, two out of town bands, so who can you expect? Playing last that night are The Ghost Town Cryers, a folk/classic rock band from Pembroke who some may recognize as the current band from prolific local musician Kyle McKey, so keep his long awaited return home in mind for the 16th! They're on at 10:15 PM, while the previously advertised headline act, London-based Beatles/Paul McCartney tribute The McCartney Years (who feature Kyle's brother/Sailor's Tongue bandmate Dean on drums), will take the stage at 8:30 pm. The highest slotted local band will be classic/hard rock quartet That's Chester in what will be their first concert appearance since the passing of guitarist Eugene Orlando last fall, last playing publically during their live production of The Who's Tommy in November.
It's great to see That's Chester back after their recent hiatus, so be at Stage 1 at 7:00 PM for their (at least) seventh Rotaryfest appearance! I'm sure Eugene will be with the guys in spirit for their grand return, also notable as their first traditional concert set since last year's Rotaryfest. While the band has not visibly replaced Eugene in their lineup, note that this teaser photo appears to show an unidentified female singer making a guest appearance during a jam session, so read into that however you choose.
Country rock cover trio Mojo (featuring That's Chester's Ric Datson on drums) will make their Rotaryfest debut at 6:00 PM, with hard rock cover quartet Griphook rocking the main stage for the fourth straight year at 5:00 PM, in just their second announced show of any kind since last year's festival. No idea why they've been so quiet lately, but it's great to see them back out there! Classic rock veterans Obsession will hit the Rotaryfest stage for the eighth time in nine years at 4:00 PM, while sporadically seen classic/hard rock quartet RPM will make their Rotaryfest debut at 3:00 PM, albeit with a lineup change, as Rotaryfest's website credits veteran local bassist Rob Gilmar in place of Lindsay Pugh. Without an online page, I can't confirm why Lindsay left, especially with RPM founding via his adult music camp, but hopefully things were amicable, and it's great to see Rob back in a new band!
A newer local band named Indians & Cowboys (not to be confused with the defunct indie rockers Cowboys & Indians) will play classic rock, blues, and country favourites at 2:00 PM, and have a lot of familiar veterans to enjoy! The Saturday lineup will be opened by veteran classic rockers Coverfly for their eighth Rotaryfest set since 2008, so come early for their set at 1:00 PM! The Saturday lineup shakes things up a bit with the McKey brothers' homecoming, That's Chester's big return, and some new bands with familiar faces, and this ALL AGES & FREE entertainment should win over the crowd on Saturday the 16th! It is worth noting that this year's lineup features some notable absences, like the aforementioned Bob Jenkins Band, country favourites Thin Ice (who last missed Rotaryfest in 2008) and Summer Thunder (who played each of the last four years), and one-time festival mainstays Spyder's Web (who haven't played Rotaryfest since 2014.)
This year's main stage at Rotaryfest is shaping up well, especially if you like classic rock, with dashes of hard rock in store also for fans on Friday & Saturday, so check the above links for full details on this year's main stage, and stay tuned for full schedule details for the Second Stage TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!