Juno award-winning bands to headline Timmins music festival
With so few music festivals happening in the country and people potentially hesitant to be among crowds, organizers of 'Rock on the River' knew they had to make their event's comeback a big one.
Thanks to extra tourism funding from the City of Timmins, Jeremy Wilson said his organizing committee was able to book some of the top rock bands in Canada.
"This is probably the biggest lineup we've had and been through some of the most challenging times we've had," said Wilson, vice-chair of the Timmins Festival and Events Committee.
The two-day event slated for Oct. 1 is filled with Juno award-winning artists, most of which are from Ontario.
Among the roster of top acts is the seven-time Juno winning band Arkells, which lead singer Max Kerman told CTVNews will be returning to the city boasting some "firsts."
"I don't think we've ever had a proper headlining show there before, so we're very excited to bring up our friends, July Talk and The Beaches, our opening (act)," said Kerman, saying playing for small-town audiences is a unique experience when compared to cities that may have several festivals a year.
"Especially when acts are coming from out of town, people in smaller towns are super appreciative of it."
Arkells is releasing its upcoming album "Blink Once" on Sept. 30 and while the bands' pre-pandemic releases typically came with a celebratory performance the same night, Kerman said his band will be saving the festivities for its outdoor performance in Timmins.
"This will be somewhat of an album release event," Kerman said. "It will be our first show after the record's come out."
Kerman and Wilson agree that people are eager for the thrill of live music festivals, with Rock on the River getting province-wide attention thanks to its distinguished acts.
Wilson said the fest's VIP tickets are sold out with general admissions still available and he hopes the event will offer much-needed relief during this stressful pandemic.
"We're really glad to get this out before winter, just to give everybody that release that they need," Wilson said.