Riverfest Elora’s ‘Want You Had been Right here’ competition successful

ELORA – Pageant goers have been in a position to take pleasure in three nights of stay music on the Elora Centre for the Arts from Aug. 20 to 22, as Riverfest Elora returned for the primary time since 2019.

“It was superb. It was a beautiful, protected expertise for everybody concerned,” Riverfest Elora’s supervisor and creative director Spencer Shewen instructed the Advertiser.

“Folks have been crying. They have been simply so blissful to be right here.”

Shewen stated he acquired messages from folks on the town who have been blissful to lastly expertise stay music once more. “Folks felt protected, which was a very powerful factor for us.”

The three-day occasion included performances by Kardinal Offishall, The Trews, The Barr Brothers, and plenty of extra. Billed because the “Want You Had been Right here” mini competition, security measures have been in place to guard all in attendance.

Solely 430 tickets have been accessible every day, unfold out in bodily distanced, six-by-six packing containers of 4. Masks have been required always when shifting across the web site, however have been allowed to come back off as soon as teams entered their field.

Officers performed COVID-19 screening on the gate, which included temperature checks.

Shewen stated the competition normally contains between 450 and 500 volunteers. This yr, there have been round 100.

“We felt like we actually made a distinction in lots of people’s lives this weekend,” Shewen stated. “Our staff was very blissful. Everybody was very pleased with how we pulled this off. We acquired feedback from folks telling us our staff was tremendous pleasant, and everybody gave the impression to be so blissful that we have been doing this in a protected method.”

Officers have been thrilled the competition was in a position to happen in any respect this yr. In Could, the occasion had been cancelled for the second yr in a row, earlier than later being reimagined as a mini competition after vaccination charges started to rise.

Shewen stated he had by no means fully given up on Riverfest Elora internet hosting a smaller occasion this yr.

“We didn’t know precisely what it was going to seem like till about six weeks in the past,” he stated. “As soon as we bought into stage three (of the province’s reopening plan), we knew there was a risk for this. So, we primarily based our plans for the occasion on stage three suggestions.”

Friday night time’s lineup included Wolf Saga, Haviah Mighty, and Kardinal Offishall. Saturday night time noticed Middlebrook, Royal Castles, Crown Lands, and The Trews take the stage.

The competition concluded on Sunday with performances by Ahi, Grae, My Son the Hurricane, and The Barr Brothers.

“The bands have been all actually nice and excited to be right here,” Shewen defined.

“We have been actually blissful to lastly get Grae on our stage, since she’s from Elora.”

Shewen stated Riverfest had initially booked Grae to carry out in 2019, however these plans sadly fell by means of on the final minute. She additionally was included within the competition’s 2020 lineup earlier than the occasion was cancelled as a result of pandemic.

Shewen stated the unorthodox crowd association didn’t trigger any points for attendees.

“The group was fully respectful of what we have been attempting to do. At first, folks weren’t positive in regards to the packing containers, however they ended up liking them. They allowed folks to house out and go away their stuff after they needed to stand up.”

Though Shewen hopes subsequent yr’s competition will look extra prefer it does in a traditional yr, he stated the assigned packing containers for attendees might not fully disappear both.

“We’d look into permitting a restricted variety of these packing containers that individuals can e book for subsequent yr, even when issues are hopefully again to regular.”