Peterborough Musicfest 2024 lineup boasts Metric, I Mother Earth, Dwayne Gretzky and more

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Peterborough Musicfest 2024 lineup boasts Metric, I Mother Earth, Dwayne Gretzky and more
In just over a month, Peterborough Musicfest will return for its 37th season. On Tuesday, organizers announced 13 of the 16 acts scheduled between June to August for the free outdoor concert series. Germain Ma has more – May 14, 2024

They say variety is the spice of life. The 2024 Peterborough Musicfest lineup boasts a similar theme.

On Tuesday morning, organizers announced the lineup of Season 37, with free admission outdoor concerts scheduled every Wednesday and Saturday from June 29 to Aug. 17 at Del Crary Park on George Street in downtown Peterborough.

There is one scheduled concert for Canada Day, which falls on a Monday.

Several concert dates have yet to be announced, however, event general manager Tracey Randall expects to announce them “soon,” pending announcements of government grants.

“We hope to announce them soon so we’ll have a complete lineup,” she told Global News. “So people can schedule their vacations around us.”

The lineup artists range from country music, rock, alternative rock and pop to tribute performances.

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“The toughest thing about the lineup is diversity — obviously you want to make sure you have the likes of all genres,” Randall said.

Randall, entering her 10th season in the role, says while the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the concert series, she’s “relieved” people are returning to the shows.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) recently released a report focusing on the 2023 season, stating the festival attracted a combined 110,000 people, generating $4.3 million for the local economy.

“I’m relieved people are coming back and also our sponsors are here year after year,” Randall said. “They’re very loyal.”

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Joe Rees, PKED tourism director, says festival visitor spending reached up to $1.8 million in 2023.

“We know that 10 per cent roughly of the people coming to MusicFest are staying overnight,” he said. “Many of them, upwards of 30 per cent, say this is their sole reason for coming to Peterborough.”

Randall says the return of the alternative rock band Metric to Peterborough on July 18 promises to be one of the festival’s biggest highlights. The band last performed in 2010 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

“Just having Metric here is going to be a wonderful adventure — we think we are going to draw a lot of people in for adventure,” she said. “We think we will draw a lot of people from America to spend money in our town.”

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Season 37 — with 16 concert dates — kicks off on Saturday, June 29 with Canadian country music star Tenille Townes.

Other acts include:

  • Monday, July 1: Road Apples — a tribute band to The Tragically Hip
  • Wednesday, July 3: Aysanabee with special guest Cale Crowe (Aysanabee – Oji-Cree singer-songwriter, folk rock/indie)
  • Saturday, July 6: Tim Baker and Great Lake Swimmers (indie folk/rock)
  • Wednesday, July 10: To be announced
  • Saturday, July 13: I Mother Earth (rock)
  • Wednesday, July 17: Metric (alternative rock).
  • Saturday, July 20: Beau Dixon Band (Peterborough-based soul/pop singer)
  • Wednesday, July 24: Rêve (Canadian pop singer)
  • Saturday, July 27: To be announced
  • Wednesday, July 31: Down with Webster (rap/rock)
  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Elton Rohn (tribute to John Elton)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7: Dwayne Gretzky (performing hits from the 1970s to 1990s)
  • Saturday, Aug. 10: To be announced
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14: Choir! Choir! Choir! (’80s singalong group)
  • Saturday, Aug. 17: David Wilcox (blues rock)

Each concert begins at 8 p.m.

Among the changes this year is a return of the stage, with a goal of bringing fans closer to the musicians.

“It just makes for a better show,” Randall said. “That way we can allow people on the wings (of the stage) by bringing it back a bit.”

Peterborough Musicfest is funded by corporate sponsorships, multi-level government support, fundraising initiatives and private donations. That can make recruiting talent a challenge, Randall notes.

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“Pre-pandemic wasn’t as tough because the prices were lower. Entertainment fees have (since) gone up,” she said. “The for-profit festivals can obviously pay more, so we’re up against that cost. We have lots of funding from sponsors and government grants, so we hope people will think about us and want to support our community to bring free music to Peterborough.”

— more to come 

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