We all have fond memories of time spent with family and friends, sharing stories, music, and maybe a little gossip. You can keep reminiscing, or you can check out Fredericton’s Living Roots Music Festival: a new festival that’s focusing on smaller venues, the intimate atmosphere of a family reunion in your aunt’s living room, and a chance to create new memories to look back on for years to come.
Eddie Young, the organizer of Roots & Soul Music Productions, has commandeered, cajoled, coaxed, and charmed an even mix of local and out-of-town acts that will quench your root’s and soul’s needs. While much of the Fredericton music scene often centers around a more revelous bar setting, this festival will be held in more casual locales. “I found that Fredericton was lacking in venues for the smaller shows,” says Young. “They didn’t have that many listening rooms, where you could sit down and listen to a song. That’s the whole idea of the small venues. What we are looking at this year is seven different venues: a house, restaurant, brewery, a café, an art gallery, a nightclub, and we have a finale show at the Wilser’s Room.”
“At a couple of shows, we’re going to have a few girls open up with some poetry. One of the ideas is to have some of the artists playing those shows submit a couple of their songs and the girls will recite them as poems; people can hear the lyrics and not get caught up in the melody and the music that sometimes covers the meaning of the lyrics in some songs.”
Young has taken great pains to pair similarly styled local artists with the bigger names coming to town. Zachery Lucky, Roxanne Potvin, Dylan Menzie, and Eastcoast Love Story are all nationally-known artists, while Hum & Hollow, Richie Young, Keegan Dobbelsteyn, Panda Bee Catastrophe, and Colin Fowlie are just a few of the local highlights opening up for some of the headliners.
“The whole idea is to get some of the people out who wouldn’t normally go out to a bar show that starts at 11 o’ clock at night. It doesn’t step on any toes of other local venues that are starting later shows that night. People can do both: see the roots shows and visit other local businesses and venues afterwards. It’s all about promoting local business and artists in Fredericton. I didn’t want to have any sponsors who are big corporations. I’m really trying to stay within the roots of the Fredericton community: kitchen parties, living room parties, and small cafes. I’m hoping to see a few jams break out and I’m putting up a lot of the artists at people’s homes. This is our first year with the festival and I hope that it carries forward to help the local community grow. We’ll see how it goes!”
The festival takes place May 26th-28th. For the full schedule of events, including venues, artists, and show starting times, visit their website.