Sask. musicians speak out about Garth Brooks overlapping Regina Folk Fest
While many prayers were answered with the announcement of a second Garth Brooks show in Regina, not everyone is thanking the heavens.
The country music superstar’s two Mosaic Stadium shows are booked for the same weekend as the Regina Folk Festival, which is celebrating its 50th year.
READ MORE: Garth Brooks announces second show in Regina
Now several artists from Saskatchewan are voicing concerns that the overlap will steal the spotlight from the festival and its emphasis on Canadian music.
Global News spoke to Estevan-born Joel Henderson, who performs under the stage name Poor Nameless Boy, as he toured through Eastern Canada on Wednesday. He said the Regina Folk Festival is typically an event that brings the city together in celebration of Canadian art and music.
“We wanna celebrate the fact that there’s a festival that brings amazing music to this province and when someone comes in and takes a hit on that, it’s sad,” Henderson said.
The folk festival’s Saturday evening lineup, in particular, features artists of a similar genre to Garth Brooks.
“It’s a lineup curated for the country and Americana kind of listener. I was disappointed because from that perspective [the Garth Brooks shows] will take a hit to the festival for sure,” said Henderson.
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Poor Nameless Boy wasn’t the only artist speaking out on social media. Swift Current’s Colter Wall and Regina-based The Dead South both voiced concerns. Wall’s tweet, in particular, picked up steam, garnering over 1000 likes.
Global News also spoke to Regina Folk Fest CEO Sandra Butel Wednesday. She said she sees the Garth Brooks bookings as an opportunity.
“I think we’re gonna end up with a lot more people paying attention to the event and paying attention to the free daytime,” she said. “We’re working with Evraz and Tourism Regina and Saskatchewan to do some joint marketing to keep people in town to stay for our festival.”
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