Guest Blog –Will McGuirk, Slowcity
Resilience. That’s the theme. Not just for the festival but for the bands and the sponsors too I think. What’s that Last of Us episode, Endure and Survive yes.
The town of Uxbridge, home to Springtide Festival running June 9 through 11 this year, is still in recovery mode from the 2022 tornado which tore through the downtown, most notably for the festival, destroying the Second Wedge brewery, a second home to many musicians in the area.
The Sadies, headliners this year, are also in recovery mode; on the road, touring, performing, after the sudden death of founder Dallas Good also in 2022, and all after recording what reviewers are calling their finest album to date, ‘Colder Streams.’ Good’s brother Travis along with bandmates Sean Dean and Mike Belitsky made the difficult choice to endure and take the album on the road, as Dallas would want the songs to get an airing before an audience. Having seen them live, the Sadies are, even with one man down, no less captivating on stage, with all three surviving members, giving it their all fully and completely, as the late Gord Downie, a collaborator with the band, sang so fully and completely himself.
As of now the Second Wedge is planning to open soon, and of course be the HQ for the festival. The Farmers Market is returning and the beer garden is scheduled to open later this month.
While the music community of Uxbridge is at the core of the fest with the line-up chock-a-block with local acts the Springtide folks are a welcoming bunch and this year along with the Sadies, some more nationally-know acts such as Terra Lightfoot (no relation), AHI, and Aysanabee.
Like Uxbridge itself there are many layers, many sides, a complexity to these artists. Aysanabee is a singer/songwriter and producer. He is Oji-Cree, Sucker Clan of the Sandy Lake First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. AHI is also a singer/songwriter who combines indie, soul, folk, into high spiritual hymns. He is coming off a European tour prior to Springtide.
Terra Lightfoot is a powerhouse from the Hammer, with a steely determination to her voice. Evangeline Gentle also has a steely determination; her single ‘Gay Bar’ is a full-on club banger. Dream-poppers Dizzy have also ramped it up on their own club banger, the call to arms and heads of the front row, yip speaking of the hit ‘Open Up Wide.’
Billiane, well what can you say about the TikTok champ, she is still getting used to the stage but most definitely belongs there. Her covers of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’ went viral and she has her own tracks ‘No Wonder’ and ‘Full Circle’ out.
AHI also has a track titled ‘Full Circle’, “Ooh-ohhh, round and around you bring me right back/ Round and around you lead me on home/ Round and around and I come full circle.”
I don’t know if the circle is as full, there has been loss, but I think this town and this festival are coming round again. Endure, Survive = Resilient.