Since 2002, Live from the Rock Folk Festival has been all about enjoying good music in a relaxed environment on the stunning shores of Lake Superior. “One of the things that makes our festival so great is its connection to the community of Red Rock and to the region,” says festival co-chair Laura Foulds. “Although we’ve seen the atmosphere of the festival grow over the last number of years with the addition of things like our enhanced artisan village and more alternative programming, 2016 really feels like a return to our roots.”
The festival is 100% volunteer run, with countless hours and hard work put in throughout the year. “The feedback we always get is that there is something familiar about Live from the Rock that gets people excited to come back year after year,” says Foulds. With a great mix of artists in the lineup this year—from the country-bluegrass-gospel Nashville-inspired Dirty Dishes to Ottawa’s thoughtful singer-songwriters Brock Zeman and Blair Hogan, along with a list of strong local performers—Foulds says 2016 is shaping up to be the best festival yet.
When: August 5-7
Where: Red Rock
Headliners: David Francey, Bob Ardern, and Steve Poltz
Cost: Advance weekend passes: $70; gate weekend passes: $90; day passes: Friday or Saturday – $55, Sunday – $45. Special prices for seniors, youth, and children
The vibe: A combination of relaxed old-school folk, neo-hippie, and family-friendly times
Where to Stay: The folk fest’s makeshift campground (of course!). Opens at noon on Thursday. Or travel by boat and stay at the marina
Food: C’mon. Breakfast at the Festival Cafe is a folk fest tradition
Insider Tip: Thursday night’s bonfire is usually more chill, less cramped, and where everyone gets a chance to sing a song. Hosted by Rodney Brown this year
Memorable moments: The majority of the audience turning their backs to Saturday night headliners the Alaska Army Band in order to watch a stunning display of dancing northern lights
Local Flavour: Rodney Brown
Veteran Thunder Bay singer-songwriter Rodney Brown may be the musician who has performed at Live from the Rock the most (he thinks eight to nine times.) “I love doing it, “ says Brown, who has been performing for over 40 years, including nationwide folk tours. “I play there whenever I can. It’s a relaxed vibe. There’s room to breathe, lots of stages, and a gorgeous backdrop.” Brown will perform again this year, along with running a workshop. “I think it’s a wonderful thing for Red Rock and for Thunder Bay. It really benefits local musicians to play with other musicians from around the world,” he says.