Festival of Friends still free after all these years

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As area music festivals feel the financial pinch to charge for their shows, the Festival of Friends continues to resist the urge, says its general manager.

Lorne Lieberman said despite the rising expenses to hold these musical extravaganzas, Festival of Friends remains a free event even for its 40th year – from Aug. 7 to 9 at the Ancaster Fairgrounds - because it’s part of the organization’s philosophy.

He says popular musical events such as the Kitchener Blues Festival, Sound of Music in Burlington and even Supercrawl have all decided to adopt targeted ticketed events within the free portion of their shows.

“I understand why they are doing it,” said Lieberman. “And we feel the pressure to do it as well. (But being free) is a serious component of what we are and we remain free.”

The Festival of Friends receives funding from all three levels of government, including the city which boosted its contribution this year from $85,000 to $95,000. It has also strived to partner with various private businesses and media organizations to keep costs reasonable, says Lieberman.

Five years after the controversy decision to relocate from Gage Park, the Festival of Friends has landed even more of a diverse sponsorship collection ranging from Jukasa to Moosehead and Twisted Tea. The festival lineup announcement was held June 24 at Pub Fiction in Ancaster, the official caterer of Festival of Friends, which Lieberman said shows the “economic spinoff” impact the event has on area businesses.  Also attending were Hamilton Bulldog officials, festival partners and city of Hamilton representatives.

“This is a sponsorship driven festival,” said Lieberman.

Since its move to Ancaster, the event has grown to include a museum that Lieberman says needs to find a permanent home, over 100 vendors, and even helicopter rides. The festival attracts over its three days about 250,000 people.

For this instalment of the Festival, there is a distinctly ‘80s feel with New Wave United Kingdom group Psychedelic Furs, known for their hits “Pretty In Pink” and “Heartbeat Beat” headlining the Aug. 7 evening. They are accompanied by Montreal band The Box and Men Without Hats, who had the now classic top 40-song “The Safety Dance.”

On Aug. 8, Hamilton’s own Junkhouse with guitarist Tom Wilson takes to the stage, followed by the Boston group Big Wreck. Their latest album was “Ghosts” released in Canada in 2014.

On Aug. 9, the Festival turns country, welcoming two-time Grammy award winner Travis Tritt, along with Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie, who has a new album out “Power in the Blood. Opening up for them is Cold Creek County.

“Travis Tritt is by far the biggest act on our lineup this year,” said Lieberman.  “So we are pretty pleased. Each of the nights doesn’t compete with itself. Festival of Friends is always about variety. All we need is good weather.”

Festival of Friends still free after all these years

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As area music festivals feel the financial pinch to charge for their shows, the Festival of Friends continues to resist the urge, says its general manager.

Lorne Lieberman said despite the rising expenses to hold these musical extravaganzas, Festival of Friends remains a free event even for its 40th year – from Aug. 7 to 9 at the Ancaster Fairgrounds - because it’s part of the organization’s philosophy.

He says popular musical events such as the Kitchener Blues Festival, Sound of Music in Burlington and even Supercrawl have all decided to adopt targeted ticketed events within the free portion of their shows.

“I understand why they are doing it,” said Lieberman. “And we feel the pressure to do it as well. (But being free) is a serious component of what we are and we remain free.”

The Festival of Friends receives funding from all three levels of government, including the city which boosted its contribution this year from $85,000 to $95,000. It has also strived to partner with various private businesses and media organizations to keep costs reasonable, says Lieberman.

Five years after the controversy decision to relocate from Gage Park, the Festival of Friends has landed even more of a diverse sponsorship collection ranging from Jukasa to Moosehead and Twisted Tea. The festival lineup announcement was held June 24 at Pub Fiction in Ancaster, the official caterer of Festival of Friends, which Lieberman said shows the “economic spinoff” impact the event has on area businesses.  Also attending were Hamilton Bulldog officials, festival partners and city of Hamilton representatives.

“This is a sponsorship driven festival,” said Lieberman.

Since its move to Ancaster, the event has grown to include a museum that Lieberman says needs to find a permanent home, over 100 vendors, and even helicopter rides. The festival attracts over its three days about 250,000 people.

For this instalment of the Festival, there is a distinctly ‘80s feel with New Wave United Kingdom group Psychedelic Furs, known for their hits “Pretty In Pink” and “Heartbeat Beat” headlining the Aug. 7 evening. They are accompanied by Montreal band The Box and Men Without Hats, who had the now classic top 40-song “The Safety Dance.”

On Aug. 8, Hamilton’s own Junkhouse with guitarist Tom Wilson takes to the stage, followed by the Boston group Big Wreck. Their latest album was “Ghosts” released in Canada in 2014.

On Aug. 9, the Festival turns country, welcoming two-time Grammy award winner Travis Tritt, along with Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie, who has a new album out “Power in the Blood. Opening up for them is Cold Creek County.

“Travis Tritt is by far the biggest act on our lineup this year,” said Lieberman.  “So we are pretty pleased. Each of the nights doesn’t compete with itself. Festival of Friends is always about variety. All we need is good weather.”

Festival of Friends still free after all these years

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

As area music festivals feel the financial pinch to charge for their shows, the Festival of Friends continues to resist the urge, says its general manager.

Lorne Lieberman said despite the rising expenses to hold these musical extravaganzas, Festival of Friends remains a free event even for its 40th year – from Aug. 7 to 9 at the Ancaster Fairgrounds - because it’s part of the organization’s philosophy.

He says popular musical events such as the Kitchener Blues Festival, Sound of Music in Burlington and even Supercrawl have all decided to adopt targeted ticketed events within the free portion of their shows.

“I understand why they are doing it,” said Lieberman. “And we feel the pressure to do it as well. (But being free) is a serious component of what we are and we remain free.”

The Festival of Friends receives funding from all three levels of government, including the city which boosted its contribution this year from $85,000 to $95,000. It has also strived to partner with various private businesses and media organizations to keep costs reasonable, says Lieberman.

Five years after the controversy decision to relocate from Gage Park, the Festival of Friends has landed even more of a diverse sponsorship collection ranging from Jukasa to Moosehead and Twisted Tea. The festival lineup announcement was held June 24 at Pub Fiction in Ancaster, the official caterer of Festival of Friends, which Lieberman said shows the “economic spinoff” impact the event has on area businesses.  Also attending were Hamilton Bulldog officials, festival partners and city of Hamilton representatives.

“This is a sponsorship driven festival,” said Lieberman.

Since its move to Ancaster, the event has grown to include a museum that Lieberman says needs to find a permanent home, over 100 vendors, and even helicopter rides. The festival attracts over its three days about 250,000 people.

For this instalment of the Festival, there is a distinctly ‘80s feel with New Wave United Kingdom group Psychedelic Furs, known for their hits “Pretty In Pink” and “Heartbeat Beat” headlining the Aug. 7 evening. They are accompanied by Montreal band The Box and Men Without Hats, who had the now classic top 40-song “The Safety Dance.”

On Aug. 8, Hamilton’s own Junkhouse with guitarist Tom Wilson takes to the stage, followed by the Boston group Big Wreck. Their latest album was “Ghosts” released in Canada in 2014.

On Aug. 9, the Festival turns country, welcoming two-time Grammy award winner Travis Tritt, along with Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie, who has a new album out “Power in the Blood. Opening up for them is Cold Creek County.

“Travis Tritt is by far the biggest act on our lineup this year,” said Lieberman.  “So we are pretty pleased. Each of the nights doesn’t compete with itself. Festival of Friends is always about variety. All we need is good weather.”