NLFB has been a staple in Northern Ontario’s music and art community for almost half a century and I had the pleasure of attending Canada’s longest continually running outdoor music festival this past weekend! For my fourth year in a row, I enjoyed four days filled with music, food, workshops and local art. Minus the slight downpour on Friday, the weather was gorgeous and I know everyone who stuck it out ended up having an excellent time. Friday night, I arrived at the festival just in time to see Jennifer Holub start her set and I was simply amazed. With her haunting voice and incredible band, she by far stole the stage for the entire evening. Then came the headliner for the night, K’NAAN. He came out and rocked the stage with his original breakout hits, along with a few samplings of some new stuff he’s been working on. Of course, he closed out the show with everyone’s classic favourite, “Wavin’ Flag” and every single hand in the crowd was up in the air. One of the most amazing things I find with concerts is, whether it’s your all time favourite band at an arena or right here at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre, everyone is a stranger but at the same time, everyone is so connected.

Saturday was non-stop action from noon until midnight. There was a performance on all four stages throughout the day with everything from folk music to poetry. To finish off a perfect Saturday, headliners Bedouin Soundclash took the stage by 11pm and the night was definitely feeling their song.

The sun was shining Sunday morning when the festivities began for the fourth and final day of NLFB 2019. I was able to catch Pop Mach!ne‘s set and was once again blown away by the pure talent those kids have! With hard classic rock as their passion, these young adults from Lively are well on their way to making a name for themselves around here. Half Moon Run took the stage to close out the festival and there could not have been a better way to end the 48th annual festival.

By the end of the weekend, I managed to try just about every food vendor on the grounds and I only went into a slight poutine coma… I’m always delighted to experience Northern Lights Festival Boréal and being just a couple years shy of the 50 year mark, I can’t wait to see what’s to come next July!

– Julia Williams

Filed under: art, Festival, Folk, local, nlfb, Northern Lights, Northern Lights Festival Boréal