Fire, Water, Wind and a Howling Moon!

Audience members enjoying some nice weather  at the Fire & Water Festival.

July 20, 2018

Three great music festivals; three consecutive weeks!

By Don Norman
The summer festival season is upon us. The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Dauphin Country Fest and the Jazz Winnipeg Festival have come and gone. But those slick big time festivals have nothing on the rootsy, rural charm of our local music festivals!

Three of those festivals are just around the corner.  The Victoria Beach based, Summer Winds Festival happening this Friday and Saturday July 20 & 21; then there’s the Howl at the Moon Country Music Festival on July 27 and 28 at the Hilltop Resort near Grand Marais and; the Fire & Water Festival on August 3rd – 5th, in Lac du Bonnet. Summer Winds and Fire & Water festivals are in there 12th year and have matured into must-see events that not only shine a spotlight on local talent, but also draw artists and musicians from all over the country.

The Summer Winds Festival takes place at the Victoria Beach Community Centre Grounds. It’s a very family-centred event, that features a kids tent with face painting and a bicycle decorating competition. Things get going on Friday at 6:30 pm. Winnipeg 80s rockers, Honeymoon Suite headline at the main stage on Saturday night. Other entertainment includes the Dust Rhinos – the long-time faves of Winnipeg’s celtic/folk music scene; Busch Stones & the Lucky; Four Mile Road; and a whole lotta tribute acts, including Damn the Torpedos (Tom Petty), Cold Hard Cash (Johnny Cash) a Whole Lotta Angus (AC/DC).

Organized by Winnipeg music promoter an country music musician, Greg Arcade, the Howl at the Moon Festival is in its second year at the Hilltop Resort. And while it doesn’t boast any really big household names like it’s counterpart in Dauphin, they have booked some stalwart Canadian country acts like Aaron Pritchett and Brett Kissel. But the big names aren’t always the best thing about a music festival. For many, the discovery of new acts they’ve never heard of is what draws them. And Howl at the Moon is a veritable who’s who of up and comers in the Canadian country music scene.

The award winning Fire & Water music Festival in Lac du Bonnet always brings in amazing musical talent drawn from genres across the spectrum. But they are way more than just a music festival. The festival includes indoor cabaret-style concerts, children’s entertainment, outdoor stages, Artisan Square, Trade Show, farmers market, food Vendors and camping. And in it’s second year now, a chainsaw carving event! The Fire & Water Festival was the winner of the 2016 Festival Madness Contest, 3-time recipient of Get Out There Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Outdoor Music Festival and runner-up for the 2015 and 2016 Manitoba Tourism Award: Event of the Year. This year’s performers include, JD and the Sunshine Band, perennial Fire & Water favourite Andrew Scott, Vancouver folk-pop outfit, Echo Nebraska and many, many more great artists and performers.