Every year the Artistic Director of Summerfolk writes a series of 12 articles for the Owen Sound Sun Times in the 12 weeks leading up to the festival.




It’s always exciting when I can announce that the lineup for Summerfolk is complete. It’s taken a bit longer this year because there is so much going on in Ontario, and around the country this summer. Artists from coast to coast to coast are trying to fit as much into what is turning out to be one of the busiest summer festival circuits in years.


Whether you are a fan of singer-songwriters, world music, children’s performers or dance music– we’re presenting you with a music and crafts lineup that is one of the best we have ever presented.


If you like singer-songwriters, we have you covered. Renowned Canadian songstress Buffy Sainte-Marie is returning to Summerfolk this year to headline our Canadian Connection Celebration event on Thursday night at the Down by the Bay tent. We’re celebrating the rich musical traditions on this indigenous-themed night that will also feature The Jerry Cans from Nunavut and local powwow legends, the Chippewa Travellers.BSMphoto2credit_Christie_Goodwin (1)


We will also have the father and son duo of Bill and Joel Plaskett, up-and-comer Ken Yates, country sensation, Kelly Prescott and dynamic duo, Madison Violet.


If you like world music, we’ve got you covered. Free-wheeling Basque music and dance from Korrontzi, sinuous rhythms from Senegalese percussionist, Élage Diouf and gorgeous vocals from the eastern Mediterranean from quartette, Turkwaz.


In the Down by the Bay tent on Friday night, the enigmatic Delhi 2 Dublin will entrance the crowd. A past favourite at Summerfolk, we coaxed them back again this year for Friday and Saturday.


If you like young, energetic bands, we have you covered–The Accidentals, a trio from Traverse City Michigan and Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies from Kitchener Waterloo.


Want to shake a leg? We’ve created our own dance band for the weekend –The Circle Square under the direction of Emilyn Stam-who will lead lead contra, square and Balfolk dances. We’re moving our Saturday contra dance to the daytime this year so you get to choose between the evening programs at Down by the Bay and the Amphitheatre on Saturday.


Powerful voices? We’ve got you covered. Serena Ryder took Summerfolk’s breath away as a teenager years ago when she was just starting out. She returns to us now as one of the brightest stars on the scene with a brilliant new cd. Ruthie Foster also Serena_Ryder_Photo_1_Landscaperejoins us after a long absence. She has a timeless voice filled with passion and fire.




Blues? Covered! The sultry Shakura S’Aida, the rough and raw Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer and local hero, Trevor MacKenzie deliver the goods.


Children’s performers, the Musical Petting Zoo, the children’s parade — all those family-oriented features you’ve come to expect? We’ve got you covered!


We’ve got the finest of Artisans returning to our juried Crafts area. Clothing, jewellery, hand-crafted instruments and ceramics to delight the eye and tempt your pocket book.


Sunday will start, as always, with the gospel workshop at 10:30AM anchored this year by The Commissionaires. Our audience is familiar with at least one member of the group, the honey-voiced Jacob Moon, but the whole band is quite stunning. They play modern music that appeals to the spirit and has an eye to social justice


We are going to do a bit of a time shift, but we have you covered.


The Amphitheatre main stage Sunday night has been scheduled, in theory, to run from 6:00 to 11:00PM. Enthusiastic performers and audiences have sometimes meant that the show hasn’t actually ended until 11:30PM or later. This year, we are pushing back the times. The Amphitheatre will start at 4:00PM on Sunday and run until 9:00PM complete with the finale and the piping out of the musicians. It’s the same 5 hours of programming you’ve come to expect.


Those that want to party and dance just a bit more can join us for a late extra at the licensed Down by the Bay tent for an energetic, festival farewell.


All in all, it means an additional two hours of music for those that want it and an earlier end to the evening for those with kids or early morning Monday commitments like work!


All this awaits you at the 42nd edition of Summerfolk — August 17, 18, 19, 20 at Kelso Beach Park. Tickets and information can be found  right here



2 Responses

  1. I purchased weekend tickets for myself and family dated August 18-20

    After reading the above I noted you have performances on the 17th. Was that a typo?

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