Followers of CityFolk can anticipate a shiny future for the downtown competition following the “overwhelming” success of govt director Mark Monahan’s third version at Lansdowne Park.
“Climate-wise, programming-wise, the group response, it’s been phenomenal,” mentioned Monahan of the five-day competition, with Jack Johnson, Father John Misty and Rodriguez amongst this yr’s headliners. “I can’t say we’ve had a greater yr from that standpoint. That bodes properly for the long run.”
“The objective this yr was to drag off an occasion that may be each critically and financially profitable – meaning doing properly sufficient financially to verify we pay all people and be capable of do it once more subsequent yr. It’s an costly endeavour and there’s quite a lot of dangers.
“We definitely had a greater yr than final yr, and I’m actually proud of how the programming turned out. Some nice timing, some nice acts, and there was no present right here that didn’t have a very important viewers, which was actually nice to see.”
Monahan mentioned balmy late summer time climate contributed to the strong attendance figures, that are anticipated to surpass final yr’s competition when remaining numbers are tallied.
“We have been very fortunate, after the moist summer time we’ve had. We simply lucked out. It couldn’t have been higher. Attendance has been very strong, and positively climate didn’t maintain anybody away. We’re very proud of the numbers.”
Monahan and crew imagine they’ve additionally solved the venue format, abandoning the acoustic challenges of the Horticulture Constructing for a “black-box” design of thick curtains contained in the Aberdeen Pavilion.
“The primary yr right here (in 2015) we did nothing when it comes to sound mitigation contained in the buildings. So we mainly had two not-so-good-sounding venues. Neither the Horticulture Constructing nor Aberdeen Pavilion was nice.
“Final yr we constructed a smaller black field in Aberdeen, and that basically confirmed us what that stage setup might do. That turned the popular venue, and we received that suggestions from followers. And that made the Horticulture Constructing that rather more imperfect, and with the problems of individuals not entering into the (smaller) Horticulture Constructing, it was a little bit of a sore thumb.
“This yr we needed to get all the things proper, so we determined to construct a much bigger black field in Aberdeen, and simply do two actually good venues. And that to me has actually labored.”
A lot of Monahan’s private highlights got here from the indoor Ravenlaw Stage, the place late-night crowds would jam their means contained in the sweaty venue after the principle stage act ended.
“Suitcase Junket was an excellent success (with Jack Johnson’s spillover crowd). The Matt Mays present (late Saturday) was superb, and it was a very nice use of that area – the group was packed, the sound was terrific, and simply the power within the room was phenomenal.
“If you plan out this stuff like constructing a black field, you think about what it’s going to be like, and also you hope for an evening like that, the place it’s completely full and the band’s rockin’ and you’ll simply really feel the power. That present was superior.”
With solely two phases, although, Monahan mentioned competition programmers wished to “hedge our bets” and put two strong headliner-worthy performers on the principle stage.
“There’s nothing mistaken with folks coming down at 7:30,” he mentioned. “In order that was the try with Nathaniel Rateliff (Thursday), Damaged Social Scene (Friday), Corb Lund and Ian Tyson (Saturday), and with Bahamas and Margo Worth.”
As for the headliners, Monahan positioned precedence on artists making their debut within the nation’s capital, reminiscent of Father John Misty, Rodriguez and Jack Johnson.
“We begin out annually considering, ‘Who did we need to get that we didn’t get earlier than?’ That’s the start of our listing, and Jack Johnson was on the highest of the listing after we began producing the Folks Pageant (in 2011). However it simply didn’t occur date-wise or album-wise.
“We strive to usher in as a precedence stuff town hasn’t seen earlier than, after which clearly combine that with a bunch of implausible acts like Bahamas or Matt Mays who we all know placed on nice exhibits.”
Add that to a wholesome serving to of native expertise built-in right into a swinging Financial institution Road strip, with music pouring out of each doorway all weekend lengthy.
“We noticed extra venues leaping on board, an excellent lineup, and we noticed quite a lot of buy-in from the group. I’ve heard from the retailers that this has been a banner weekend with site visitors and gross sales. We noticed folks strolling round with schedules printed out, going from venue to venue and trying out the native expertise.
“The reception from native musicians has been overwhelmingly optimistic. Ottawa is absolutely maturing with the extent of musical expertise – 5 years in the past I’m unsure we might have put collectively 60 bands of this calibre. It’s actually thrilling to be concerned within the music scene proper now.”