by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A popular Kemptville festival which has been put on hold for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic is planning to return this year in light of loosening restrictions. If all goes according to plan, the Kemptville Live Music Festival will take place this summer from July 21-24. While a list of performers is not available yet, it is anticipated that the festival will be a major event, bringing back feelings of pre-COVID excitement. Advance tickets sales are ongoing, as are camping reservations.
The festival organizers have been keeping the spirit alive over the past several months by hosting a Live at the Library series of online events. These events began in 2021 in lieu of that year’s in-person festival. Karen Bedard of the Festival told the Times that the Live at the Library series was a way to use some grant money to keep locals entertained while they were stuck at home.
“We identified that we were able to remain open as a recording studio,” Karen told the Times. The team set up a professional recording studio, complete with lighting, at the old library on the Kemptville Campus. There were 14 performances last year. “Artists were just dying to get out and do stuff,” Karen said. “A lot of them hadn’t performed in over a year.”
She described the online events as a way to keep their branding fresh for locals, but also as a way to promote Kemptville, since those who live outside of the area can access the events on YouTube as well.
While Live at the Library was a way for the Festival to cope with the pandemic, the organizers are moving forward with preparations for this year’s in-person festival.
“We were fortunate, because we were in a good position,” Karen said. “We had a good five years of growing our non-profit, so, financially, we’re fine to get through this year.” Those interested in catching one of three remaining Live at the Library shows can do so on February 24 (“Lyle Odjick and The Northern Steam”), March 3 (“Roxy’s Proxy”), or March 10 (“Kelly Preston”).
All past shows can be found on the Kemptville Live Music Festival YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UCBxfGn2_SUTV1g6ah2z1AHA/featured.
As for July’s live event, tickets are on sale now at www.kemptvillelivemusicfestival.com/tickets. More information about the event can also be found on the website. Ticket sales have been strong so far. “People are very loyal fans,” Karen said. “A lot of them have carried over their tickets from 2020!”