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Will MusicFest live up to its nostalgic memories?


MusicFest – the word itself conjures up nostalgic memories for many people in the Bay St. George area.

The former outdoor concert, held each summer for three nights in July, had some great moments and memorable talent for the years that it took place.

During those years profits were aimed at supporting the Stephenville Jets and it was run by the organization’s board of directors.

Thousands of people attended the event each summer, held on a sloping block of property to the rear of College of the North Atlantic.

Now the Stephenville MusicFest is being revived this summer, albeit in a little different format since it’s being held indoors – probably not a bad idea considering it doesn’t have to be weather dependent.

Another difference is that this new MusicFest is being held for one day only, but organizers are promising a day chocked full of music starting at 12 noon and running until 4 p.m., then evening performances from 8 p.m. until the early morning hours.

The timing of the event is also strategic, in that it’s being held on Aug. 5, which is a long weekend in the town since the civic holiday known as Stephenville Day is celebrated this year on Aug.7.

The event is a collaboration of the Stephenville Theatre Festival, the Bay St. George Folk Arts Council and the Stephenville Cultural Destination Committee, with all three dedicated to the arts and attracting tourists to the area.

For its return, Trevor Stagg, event chairman, is thinking that those who attend will enjoy the entertainment the organizers have lined up for the event.

While there are no bands from outside the province, several of the bands are well known for their performances in the province and beyond, including Sherman Downey (with full band) and The Navigators.

Closer to home, Claude Caines and Friends carried out some great performances during MusicFest in the past and likely won’t disappoint and Smugglers Cove, a band made up of young men from the area are proving themselves as great performers.

Members of the Bay St. George Folk Art Council will take the stage in the afternoon and these artists provide some great folk and traditional music.

Where the event is just starting up again, keeping the costs down a little is probably a good idea and not as much of a gamble as bringing in the big acts as with them come big costs. This will be a good test ground to see if the desire is there to support such an event.

For many years people have talked about and pined about wanting to attend MusicFest again.

Lots of people are enjoying senior hockey now that it’s back. It will be interesting to see if this event will be the same.


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