Moose Jaw to Host a Music Festival

Band City Fest/ Aug 25th

Crescent Park Amphitheatre/ 1pm -10pm

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Nick Murray

Moose Jaw is about to become a lit summer rock 'n' roll destination once again, as "Moose Jaw's only outdoor rock 'n' roll arts festival" will take place on August 25th at the amphitheatre in Crescent Park.

The key organizer and co-ordinator of the event is John Dale (of Johnny 2 Fingers & the Deformities fame). He has some experience in planning music festivals; years back, he helped run an annual summer music festival that took place, in different years, at both Happy Valley Park and in Wakamow Valley, called Summerfest.

Do you remember Summerfest? Summerfest was great. It ran annually for four years, growing bigger and better with each instalment, until its final one, in 2012. The festival brought great acts like Rah Rah, Andino Suns, Andy Shauf and Indigo Joseph  to town and a whole bunch of other really fun live bands and put them on the same bill and on the same stage as some of Moose Jaw's coolest acts of the period Brain Sauce, Lords Kitchner, Tangean Wall, Silhouette City, Friend Friend, Ghost of a Ghost and Megan Nash back when she still played country songs. Even pre-2 Fingers & the Deformities John Dale played the events. They contained the perfect combination of local talent and out of town entertainment. Band City Fest is trying to bring that vibe back to Moose Jaw. All that great local talent, highlighted, in one festival, on one stage.

"I've had the name Band City Fest since before we stopped doing Summerfest" John said. "I thought it paid a nice homage to Moose Jaw's old slogan of Band City."

"There's two reasons I'm putting this on" John continued. "One. I think Moose Jaw really has a void to fill when it comes to musical festivals.  Especially all ages events. Sure there's things like Sidewalk Days and Motif (R.I.P) but their main prerogative isn't the music. I wanted to make something where the music is paramount.  I wanna see the community get together and have a good time. And Two: selfishly, I love performing in the amphitheatre. There is nothing like running full stacks of amplifiers on a beautiful summer day."

 Band City Fest isn't the first music festival John Dale has had a hand in co-ordinating.

Band City Fest isn't the first music festival John Dale has had a hand in co-ordinating.

Originally, John wasn't sure if he wanted to organize a big festival like this. It ultimately came about thanks to a chance encounter with another band called The Pits, while eating breakfast at a restaurant in Red Deer.

"They were looking to do a show on the weekend that I was thinking about. That was enough of an affirmition for me to reach out and book Crescent Park.  I started to message some friends to see if they'd be interested in playing, I also posted on Facebook musician groups to get some Regina/Saskatoon people involved."

Clearly, the response was encouraging. People like summer festivals.

Aside from The Pits and his own band, John wanted a good mix of local talent and out of town talent. Megan Nash is slotted to be the headlining act. Other MJ acts on the bill include Sunny Day Encore, Drake Mark, The 86s and Ethan Brentnell. From out of town comes The Hourhand, Braindead Romeo, The League of One, Lunar Lander Dance Commander and a bunch more.

 Along with The Pits, Megan Nash is the scheduled headlining performer at Band City Fest

Along with The Pits, Megan Nash is the scheduled headlining performer at Band City Fest

As advertised, then festival will also be an arts festival.

"There's going to be art vendors setting up tables to showcase their wares" John said.  "I'm looking to get a couple food vendors in the area as well."

Lots of help is needed in ensuring the event is successful. They are looking for volunteers and other businesses that might be interested in sponsoring the event.

"Fortunately we've been lucky to get a couple sponsors thus far, New Board Shop and The Park Hotel to help pay some of the costs. I'm still looking for some more."

If you want to get involved as a vendor, a volunteer or even a sponsor, contact John at  bandcityfest@gmail.com