Kemptville Live organizer Karen Bedard made a presentation to council on October 9, 2018 to report on the success of this year’s festival.
Kemptville Live Music Festival, which was held on the Kemptville College grounds from July 18-22, 2018 saw record attendance throughout the weekend. The Friday and Saturday night shows drew approximately 7000 fans each evening and the Sunday crowd was also the largest they had ever seen. The organizing committee reported to council that the total attendance for the weekend was 20,845 people with 15,025 unique visitors to the municipality. The festival drew people from all over Canada, US and UK including John, from Malta who came to see the Beach Boys. It is estimated that visitor spending totalled $1.7 million over the weekend.
This year, the first Kemptville Live “warm up” event was held in Riverside Park on Wednesday, July 18. Music in the Park hosted five young local performance artists, children’s programming, hot air balloon demonstrations and rides, a vendor’s market, and charcoal BBQ chicken, brisket and craft beer. Around 600 people came to the park to take advantage of the free event. “It was well received in the downtown core,” Karen told council.
The festival could not have been such a success without the support of 286 dedicated volunteers who tallied over 4500 hours of service over the weekend. Seventeen of those volunteers were under 19 and 106 of the volunteers were in the senior category of 65 plus. A volunteer appreciation evening was held at the Municipal Centre on October 9, 2018 to thank them all for their hard work.
There were also several community sponsors who made the event possible. Although cash sponsorship was down this year, in-kind sponsorship rose from 11 to 13 businesses. Grants this year were granted by Celebrate Ontario, Canadian Heritage and Grenville Community Futures Development.
A survey that was sent to all online ticket purchasers drew a great response this year. Of all respondents, 96 percent said they would more than likely return for another festival and 96 per cent said they would recommend the festival to family or friends. “Kemptville Live is the premier event in North Grenville,” said Mayor David Gordon after Karen’s presentation.
“When you can get my wife humming good vibrations, you know it’s been an excellent weekend.”