By Regina Sienra
After six years, the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival is saying goodbye. Defined by its organizers as a “punk expression”, this free Toronto festival has fought for a fair treatment of local musicians and small businesses by the music industry and the government, respectively. It’s final edition will be happening this weekend — September 17 and 18 — at Christie Pits Park.
Headlining this year’s edition of the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival are Bry Webb and the Providers. Among the highlights of the 2016 lineup are By Divine Right, Bidiniband, CATL and The Wilderness of Manitoba. During its run, the festival pushed to put bands living on Toronto’s Ward 19 (Trinity-Spadina) in the city spotlight. The Idaho Shop, Wax Mannequin and Steve Lambke will be performing too.
Since one of main grants the event relied on has fallen through, the festival has scaled down to a single stage for its final run. Bands will be performing at the beer garden stage but, according the the festival organizers, the stage design will allow the audience and any passersby to see the musicians from around the garden and hear the music all over the park.
“This year’s lineup is inspired by the love from some of our good friends and family and a kick ass show”, reads a statement posted on the festival’s website. “Many of these bands have played the festival before and we wouldn’t/couldn’t think of putting on a farewell party without asking them to play”.
The event is free, and will run rain or shine. The Bloor Ossington Folk Festival is a family-friendly event, so kids are more than welcome.
For more information on the lineup and the schedule, visit the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival website.