What was really encouraging about the festival this year was that it survived! Now last year we were all excited because the festival didn’t lose any money but this year sales were once again a little better. What is really impressive about that is that is that it thunderstormed and rained so hard for most of the first two days that most people in their right minds should have been seeking shelter! I think Momfest would have experienced considerable growth had it been sunny all weekend. Surely those locals who didn’t want to get wet would have been out in force rather than all the travelling audience that once they arrive at the festival have no real choice but to tough it out.
Friday began with a real heavy thunderstorm right when things were about to get going. Usually when a storm comes through you get nice weather after ward, however this was a a squall line in front of a rain bomb…and rain it did until the festival became Music In the Mud. Nonetheless the show went off, there were still a few people standing right out in the pouring rain to watch the bands.
Friday night culminated with the bad ass Big River Boys from Saskatchewan, Folky Strum Strum from the Peace region and my Joey Only Outlaw Band. For three bands you expect to be in the country genre each of us are really hard hitters. The rain managed to stop once and for all once I told it to FUCK OFF in the midst of singing the Rodeo Song.
Saturday went sorta the same way. A real nasty storm was on us while brave Dave Soroka kept singing. There was lightning hitting less than 500m away on the mountain, you couldn’t force me to plug in and stand on a metal stage…but that’s what Dave did. Then the rain came after wards once again and rain it did. But on this night people were emotionally ready. I think when it’s raining on Friday it’s a real downer but when it’s Saturday people just say to themselves ONE MORE NIGHT.
The highlights for me were numerous on Saturday but there is no doubt that Rachelle Van Zanten was the darling of the evening. Holy shit does she do a good set. Not far behind was the remarkably more rocking than usual Sarah Burton Band. But that doesn’t take away from the hot show of Scott Dunbar and the unknown yet surprisingly awesome talents of King Crow and the Ladies from Hell. Of course Party on High Street were awesome, those are my bro’s. They set a new record for people on stage playing instruments….43!
Sunday culminated in my Outlaw Band trying to break the record of 43 people on stage but we did not succeed. We had one giant crowd of ruffians on stage to finish the festival and it got us kinda choked up…it was that beautiful. Especially as stage manager Chris Leuchte said he would not be back with McKillican Production Services. He is someone who makes life easier for bands and will be really missed.
So Lionel and Rosemarie and Richard and Ginny and all the organizers of MoMfest can rest assured. The festival grew for the second straight year despite the shitty weather, that has to be a good sign! It’s a festival that takes place in a wonderful location and there’s only one direction it can go from here. It will just keep getting better and better.