Tomorrow I perform at Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. For me, this is The Big Gig.
You see, I think of Folk Harbour as my home festival. I attended (as a member of the audience) for the first time in 1987. Yep, 24 years ago. I was 16, and the festival was just two years old.
I bet most of the other teenagers there had been dragged by their parents, kicking and screaming, but not me. Archie Fisher and Garnet Rogers were headlining and I could hardly wait to see them perform.
My friend Steve and I went together. I remember sitting under the mainstage tent being treated to the finest folk music imaginable – less than half an hour’s drive from where each of us lived. What I remember most clearly is a feeling of enchantment – especially when Archie and Garnet played Witch of the Westmoreland, fulfilling my greatest hope for the evening.
There have been other Folk Harbour experiences since that one. After I moved away to Toronto, I tried to plan my summer visits to co-incide with the festival, and I’ve heard some great music on that mainstage, but my first night at Folk Harbour remains the most special.
On that night in 1987, I had absolutely no idea that I was going to become a singer-songwriter when I grew up. More than 20 years later, I released my first cd and one of the first places I sent it was to Folk Harbour’s programming committee. Tomorrow, with the same stars in my eyes that were there when I was 16, I’ll step up on that mainstage and sing my heart out.
I can hardly wait.
More details for those of you coming to the festival:
I’ll be playing on three stages tomorrow (Friday, August 5):
1pm in St. John’s Anglican church as part of a blues workshop with David Myles, Thom Swift and Harry Manx
4pm at the Bandstand – a half hour solo set
8:15 (approximately), I’ll be on the mainstage for a tweener – just one song – between the 2nd and 3rd mainstage performers