LITTLE CURRENT – Things are in full swing at the Flatrock Entertainment grounds as the 13th edition of Manitoulin Country Fest (MCF) is almost upon us and this year’s lineup is promising an exciting time for everyone.
“MCF 2019, it’s our 13th, but definitely not unlucky 13,” said co-organizer Kelly (KT) Timmermans. “This year is proving to be one of the best ones yet. Our camping is virtually sold out and patrons will enjoy amazing country music amidst the beauty that is Manitoulin Island.”
Ms. Timmermans noted that this year will kick off Wednesday night (August 7) with two offerings, the Cruise for a Cause, which is sold out again this year. The cruise will feature rising Canadian country music stars The Reklaws. “This brother/sister duo from small town Ontario have taken the country music world by storm since launching their first major label single ‘Hometown Kids’ in 2017,” said Ms. Timmermans, “and they have no plans on stopping.”
As has been their tradition, MCF is once again stepping up to help support Island initiatives. “We’re thrilled to be raising money this year for all the great work that Manitoulin Streams does,” she said. “If you missed out on the sold out boat tour, take in the official Kick off Party at the Anchor Inn starting at 9 pm. Cover at the door is $5 each with all proceeds to Manitoulin Streams. The evening will feature Ontario-based Brad James, hot on the heels of his Rising Star nomination at the Country Music of Ontario awards.” The incomparable Caitlin Young will be on hand with lots of great prizes and some country music trivia.
“Thursday night doors open at 6 pm with the show starting at 7 pm and featuring Don Amero, The Reklaws and James Barker Band,” said Ms. Timmermans.
Since it is hard to get too much of a great thing, Friday will include another boat tour, the Songwriter Showcase, this year featuring Don Amero, Brad James, Shawn Austin and Jay Allan, and hosted by the ever vivacious Beverley Mahood. As of press time there were only a handful of tickets left for this intimate performance on board North Channel Cruise Line. “Get a chance to experience the songwriting process while listening to these up and coming superstars of the Canadian country music scene,” said Ms. Timmermans.
The Friday main stage opens at 3:30 pm with the show itself kicking off at 4:30 pm. “Friday includes Emily Bashall, Shawn Austin, The Dungarees, legendary Tanya Tucker and the iconic Clay Walker,” she said.
“Saturday will include judging in the morning of our Best Decorated Campsite with this year’s theme being Country Christmas. This has become a highlight for our campers and certainly for our judges,” explained Ms. Timmermans. “Dozens of campsites vie for some amazing prizes from local businesses. We have had amazing support from local businesses for this event and we are very happy with how MCF helps Island business.”
The MCF doors open Saturday at 1 pm and things heat up onstage at 2 pm with a program featuring Country 103 Indie Highlight contest winner Drew Taylor and the excitement just builds throughout the evening with Jesse T., Nice Horse, Petric, The Hunter Brothers, Jess Moskaluke and the amazing Island favourite Paul Brandt closing out the night.
With plenty of vendors on site, including the TD Family Fun Zone with bouncy castles, face painting, piñatas and more to keep the younger set entertained, MCF 2019 promises to be a chance to create another great set of Island memories.
For the older crowd there is a beer tent on site and tickets will be available at a reduced price for 2020 with three artists already added to the lineup.
For tickets including some limited VIP passes call 1-866-755-7425 or go online at www.manitoulincountryfest.com.
If country is not your thing, or if you have tastes that span more than all things country, come check out the Rockin’ The Rock lineup August 15 and 16 at www.rockintherock.ca