I will admit I’m not one of summer’s biggest fans.
I might be if I was by the ocean or a pool all day, but for all intent’s purposes, I’m usually counting down the days to the cool of autumn. However, there is one element to summer that I anticipate quite rabidly; the summer concert season and specifically, the abundance of summer festivals.
Unfortunately, the summer of 2011 was overshadowed by tragedy with stage collapses. Seven people lost their lives when strong winds blew down the stage at a Sugarland concert and five people were killed when a violent storm hit Belgium’s Pukkelpop Festival. While these deaths are rare, a number of stages came down causing injury at the Ottawa Bluesfest, where the stage collapsed on the festival’s last day during a set-up for Cheap Trick.
2012 is off to a similar start with the stage collapse at Downsview Park in Toronto just hours before a Radiohead concert was due to start, killing the band’s drum technician. I do hope everyone is more vigilant this year so we can avoid a repeat of last.
Across the country there is a wealth of festivals covering every genre of music. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy summer with some (mostly) sweet sounds and meeting lots of great new friends.
NXNE recently wrapped up a hugely successful year, although I only managed to make it out to the free Flaming Lips show. While the aforementioned Radiohead incident led to an obscenely packed Dundas Square, the Lips came prepared to entertain the masses. And I met some great fellow fans.
Myself? I’m bypassing Ottawa’s Bluesfest this year to take in Montreal’s Osheaga Festival. Relatively new to the scene, Osheaga has quickly become one of summer’s biggest music events. Headliners for 2012 include Sigur Ros, Florence and the Machine, the Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Feist and the Jesus & Mary Chain. I look forward to filing you reports on the highlights of each day.
Do you have any festival plans this year? Any survival tips for your fellow festival-goers? Whatever it is you choose to check out in, take care of yourself and each other, and have fun!