It is what it is and what it has been, and is still, very good.
With an attendance record-setting summer of 2017 in its rear view mirror, Peterborough Musicfest kicks off its 18-concert 32nd season on Saturday, June 30 – part one of a weekend doubleheader that will also see a Canada Day concert staged.
“We really enjoy our spring training, as we call it, but we’re kind of hibernated in the winter, so it’s fun to come out in the spring and share the result of all the hard work we’ve done,” says Musicfest general manager Tracey Randall.
As has been the case since Fred Anderson debuted what was then called the Peterborough Festival of Lights in 1987, the success of the annual free summer concert series is rooted in the forging and
nurturing of relationships with musicians’ booking agents as well as the numerous sponsors who generously foot the bill.
“We’ve got to make the money in order to spend it,” notes Randall, crediting marketing and sales co-ordinator Tashonna McDougall with “stepping up” her game, bringing some existing sponsors to a higher giving level while also attracting new supporters.
For sure, there are major challenges, notes Randall – increasing artist fees tops the list. In addition, for-profit events typically receive “first dibs” on available acts and, often, a radius clause prohibits acts from performing at Musicfest if they’re booked for a for-profit event within a defined distance of Peterborough.
And then there’s the goal of presenting a diverse lineup genre-wise that speaks to the musical tastes of a wide demographic. After all, you can’t please everyone and often those who try fail miserably. Yet that has been achieved. Ask any one of the 138,000 delighted live music fans who flocked to Del Crary Park last summer.
“I’m pumped to keep bringing new and old music to Del Crary Park… it’s really special that we can
continue to honour Fred and what he set this up to be,” says Randall.
Yes, Peterborough Musicfest has been very good and still is. More of the same beckons.
For more on Musicfest and to view the 2018 concert schedule, visit ptbomusicfest.ca