Musicians, organizers delighted to be back with Back to the Farm 2021

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Mackinnon Brothers’ sixth edition of Back to the Farm, and the first under COVID restrictions, has come and gone with Sunday’s festival.

This year’s lineup featured nine Kingston-area artists before welcoming headliners Terra Lightfoot and Matt Mays to the stage.

The festival sold all 4,500 tickets and had an overall cap of 5,000, including volunteers, food and beer truck employees, and children who were admitted free.

Chris Morris, artistic director of the festival, says he looks forward to a well-deserved rest after the team has completed about “8 months of planning in 6 weeks” to launch the festival this year.

Morris said they felt confident in their planning being done alongside public health, and added that the checks carried out by public health and police throughout the day were satisfactory.

He said all of the performers were excellent and the biggest highlight for him was how much the attendees enjoyed the return of live music after such a long absence.

“It was really nice to see how much the crowd enjoyed the live music,” Morris said.

“There were more people taking center stage this year, I think, as a percentage, than there have been in the past. There was a little less to do this year sort of by design but just to see how much the crowd really liked it and I think they were giving it back to the musicians and the musicians feeding off of it.

Morris said that at this point they didn’t feel there were any major issues, but when it comes to improving the festival, he would like to find a way to reduce the amount of waste on the ground.

“We thought the big orange bins were pretty obvious, but after a couple you get lazy or forgetful,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s a working farm, so when I was there this morning seeing this amount of garbage was disheartening.”

The brewery was closed today in order to clear the grounds of the overwhelming amount of trash left behind.

Nicholas Lennox and Timothy Seier of The Wilderness said it was “supernatural” to be back on stage and perform in front of so many people.

Lennox added that he had tried to use the time spent during the pandemic to hone his practice, but there is no substitute for live performance.

“I guess we couldn’t wait to start over,” Lennox said.

“It’s hard to get around the fact that this is a missing piece of the puzzle. You can write whatever you want but without going up there and doing the thing, even with livestreams, it’s not quite the same.

Wild nature behind the farm

The brewery doesn’t have too many plans for other shows at the moment, with Dan Mackinnon saying ahead of the festival that they would like to but they are still trying to organize a number of weddings and events which have been postponed to the during the pandemic.

The venue will however host a show on September 5 featuring The Blue Stones and The Wilderness.


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