Smokin’ Blues Fest 7 and Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Festival “5th Year Bash”
By Jay Chetwynd
Music saves lives. Music sheds glowing light on the darkest of days. For many, music is life.
The direct connection between music and mental health is immeasurable. While some people use music to motivate themselves at the gym, or pass the time while driving, others use it as a lighthouse of hope on the rocky shores of their mental illness. For some folks, it’s simply listening to music that eases the pain. For many, it’s actually writing and playing music that really encompasses their soul in a warm blanket of comfort. And for others, it’s working together on music festivals to bring good times for a good cause.
That’s why the team at Smokin’ Entertainment have decided to make the best of mental illness and focus their energies on bringing two grass-roots, East Coast music events to Windsor again and donating a portion of ticket sales directly to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Smokin’ Blues Fest 7 and Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Festival “5th Year Bash” are coming back! Both festivals are the weekend of July 28-29 in different parts of the Hants County Exhibition Grounds. Though completely separate from each other, the festivals will bring to town several hundred (hopefully more) music lovers who enjoy the festival scene and getting a full dose of “musical medication” while supporting their local musicians and vendors. Folks from Manitoba, Alberta, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, PEI, and Ontario have already purchased their tickets and will be spending their money supporting the Valley’s economic region. Restaurants, stores, gas stations, wineries, and many more businesses will benefit from these events.
The beneficial focus here is on raising much-needed funds to increase awareness and programming for the Canadian Mental Health Association. For every weekend pass purchased, Smokin’ Entertainment will donate $5 to CMHA. If we ever reach 5000 attendees between the two events, that amount rises to $10. Even if the festival does not benefit, CMHA will, so it’s a win-win for the cause. Not only do the events serve as fundraisers of sorts, but they’re also a great coming-together of like-minded musical friends. It’s like a big family, and because of the specific genres of music for each event, people know from the get-go that they will be surrounded by others who enjoy the same tastes in music and good times.
Not only do attendees get a full weekend of East Coast acts that they adore, but they get to indulge in a variety of vendors. Plus, visitors from away get to see the Valley. Some of them will return many more times because they will fall in love with the area. Lots of families make the festivals their “family event of the summer”, which is quite a special thing. With all the dancing, smiling, and good tunes, the festivals serve as a true escape from the mental battles waged by too many. We all deserve that escape once in awhile… away from the TV, away from stress, away from social news. This is a weekend of great music, great food, and great times with great friends. Today’s world of hectic and seemingly-constant distractions can not only increase mental illness and stress levels, but the next thing you know, summer is over and we start to get anxious about the impending winter not far away. Music festivals are a way to freeze time for a weekend and be away from the stresses of everyday life.
Smokin’ Blues Fest 7 will be presenting a new addition this year to counter-balance some of the negativity in the news recently involving the treatment of women in the world. “An Evening with the Ladies of East Coast Blues” will be a night filled with the best-of-the-best female-fronted acts from our Maritimes, including Christine Campbell, Kendra Gale Band, and more. Then on Saturday, it’s the “1st Annual East Coast All-Star Jam” with Charlie A’Court, Carson Downey, and many more. Info and tickets at www.smokinbluesfest.ca.
Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Festival “5th Year Bash” is celebrating the milestone by bringing Juno-nominated Skull Fist from Toronto, as well as 20 Maritime bands that share the love of all things heavy. It’ll be the scariest, yet friendliest, crowd of crazies you’ll find at the only event of it’s kind east of Quebec. Fans of Metallica, Guns n’ Roses, AC/DC, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and more will find themselves right at home at this festival. Info and tickets at www.maritimemetalfest.com.
Both events are family-friendly with a “Kids 12 and Under FREE” policy so that we can pass on the love of music to future generations. We also strive to provide a safe, B.Y.O.Beverages atmosphere, with on-site camping available and all the amenities you need just steps away.