Shine up your boots, dust off your hat, it’s time for Manitoulin Country Fest

MANITOULIN—The final countdown has begun for this year’ Manitoulin Country Fest coming up on Thursday, August 7 through to Sunday, August 10.

“We are really looking forward to Country Fest,” organizer Kelly Timmermans told The Expositor earlier this week. “We have a great lineup and are excited to see them all.”

“Tim Hicks is one of the hottest artists right now (‘Here Comes The Thunder’ is topping country music charts) and Josh Turner is a multi Grammy nominated artist,” continued Ms. Timmermans. “Josh Turner will be a huge show—he is bringing three tour buses and a 53 foot trailer. It’s not going to be like anything seen on Manitoulin before.”

Ms. Timmermans said that she was also excited for Tebey whose new single ‘Wake Me Up’ featuring Emerson Drive is climbing the charts. The Expositor had the chance to chat with Tebey about his upcoming trip to Manitoulin and Country Fest.

“This is going to be my first time on the Island,” the 29-year-old singer/songwriter told The Expositor. “I know KT (Kelly Timmermans), who is a big supporter of mine, and I have heard nothing but great things about the festival so I’m pretty excited.”

Tebey Ottoh grew up in Burlington and explained that he got his start singing at his church. His big break came when he won the Canadian Open Country Singing Contest, leading him to sign a deal with MCA Records and moved to Nashville at age 15.

Tebey balances his career writing both songs for his own award winning albums and artists of various genres from Canadian pop star Shawn Desman to international boy band One Direction.

“When I write songs for other people I put on a different hat,” explained Tebey, who spends his summers touring and his winters writing. “I write songs for other artists in various genres, but I grew up listening to country and I’m a country artist.”

Tebey will be kicking off Manitoulin Country Fest on Thursday, August 7, along with  Cory Marquardt and Carolyn Dawn.

On Friday, Mike Trudell will hit the stage along with Patricia Conroy, Bobby Wills and headliner Josh Turner with his Roughstock and Rambler Tour.

Saturday’s artists will include Ty Baynton, Marie Bottrell, Codie Prevost, Jaida Dreyer, Tim Hicks and Doc Walker.

On Sunday, Country Fest will wrap up with The Lovelocks, Kevin Closs and Jordan McIntosh.

“We will be having a beer pit this year with extended drinking hours from 11 pm to 1 am Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with live entertainment on both the Friday and Saturday nights,” said Ms. Timmermans. “We will also be having Hillbilly Olympics Friday afternoon for campers as a way for people to have fun and get to know each other.”

“As well, there will be a round up area next to the artist’s runway,” explained Ms. Timmermans. “There will be different ways each day to win access to this special area. For kids, there will be the TD Family Fun Zone with face painting, balloon animals and inflatables. We are also working with the Great Spirit Circle Trail to offer excursions on Friday.”

Tickets are $250 for a VIP weekend pass, $150 for an adult all event pass and $100 for a youth (10-15-years-old) all event pass. Thursday only passes for adults are $40 and $30 for youth. Friday only passes are $80 and $55 for youth. Saturday only passes are $90 for adults and $60 for youth and Sunday only adult passes are $40 or $30 for youth.

Tickets are available by calling 705-368-1419, 1-866-755-7425 or 705-368-1998 in the evening or on weekends.  Tickets are also available until Friday, August 1 at 10 Campbell Street East, Little Current from 8 am to 4 pm. As well, tickets will be available at the gate of the Flat Rock Entertainment Centre, home of Manitoulin Country Fest, on Harbour View Road in Little Current.