Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers of Riverfest in Elora. Even the weather co-operated. Well done!
This year’s lineup included The Shawn Connerys, The Boo Radley Project, Alanna Gurr, Lowlands, Kevin Breit, Rich Aucoin, Ashley MacIsaac, and Born Ruffians. All performances were fantastic and the crowd loved them.Lowlands at Riverfest 2013
So often we think that we have to travel for excellent music and fun activities. Riverfest began in 2009 with the efforts of Marilyn Koop and friends. The grounds at the Elora Centre for the Arts were its first home, but it quickly outgrew that spot and moved across the street to Bissell Park. Organizers placed a large letter ‘M’ in front of the stage, this year, to remember Marilyn, who left us in 2012.
Elora’s Bissell Park is certainly a fantastic place for the venue. Kudos to all who made it a safe and fun place to spend the afternoon and evening. The festival area was neatly fenced and organized with food vendors, craft vendors, beer and free water. Even the KIPP oven was open for fresh wood oven pizza.
The music was a nice mixture of everything; folk, jazz, pop, country. Many of the bands drew from several different genres to craft their songs. The sound bounced from the wild fun of The Boo Radley Project to the sultry sweet talents of Alanna Gurr. It was disappointing that the Boo Radly project’s didgeridoo player was absent. (Dylan, we missed you!)
Many musicians brought albums for sale. Of course, I wanted one of each. Everyone was wonderful. How many souvenirs do I need? All of them. It’s just too difficult to choose between bands.
Festival goers are familiar with workshops where members from various bands join onstage to perform. Kevin Breit did a fantastic job of leading the group, based on suggestions from the audience. Who would have believed that the Easter Bunny had so much energy? It was fun stuff.
At one point someone tweeted a photo of a surf board that was leaning against the fence behind the stage. This person wondered what the item was for. We found out during Rich Aucoin’s performance when he surfed the crowd on the board. We often think of the mosh pit at concerts. Aucoin is the first performer that I have seen create his own. Everyone in the crowd was lounging on chairs or on the grass until Aucoin encouraged them to come right up to the stage to be a part of his show. Young and old, and everyone in between, grabbed hold of the huge parachute that he had with him and bounced bits of paper that Aucoin shot onto it. It may have taken a few participants back to their school days where the colourful parachutes are used for group activities.
The mosh pit emptied after Aucoin’s performance, but quickly returned when Ashley MacIsaac took to the stage with his magical fiddle. It was impossible to resist the energy that he brought with him. The energy continued with the Born Ruffians. Thanks for including us in your Canadian tour before heading off to Europe.
Today Bissell Park is returning to its regular, serene nature – but the memories will remain for those who had a fantastic time at Riverfest in Elora.