The first Tall Pines Music & Arts Festival was a success, according to the man that organized it.
“It met my objectives of what I wanted to do from day zero, which was to create a community-centred, culturally curated music festival in Muskoka, and we checked that box,” says Kevin Goodman, the Chief Entertainment Officer for Front Row Center Music and Entertainment Marketing. “I really wanted it to be more than just a bunch of bands on stage and a bunch of food trucks. I really wanted to almost create an almost summer camp-esque community vibe.”
The festival was held on June 4th and 5th at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst. It featured artists like Sloan, k-os, and The Beaches as well as lesser know artists like Georgia Hammer, Skye Wallace, and Caveboy.
“We wanted to have a very diverse lineup in terms of both artists as well as genre,” Goodman says, adding they also wanted to mix in established artists with new ones.
Venders were set up on the festival grounds as well, including Huntsville’s Smoking Hot BBQ, Muskoka Artisan Soaps, the Muskoka Shipyards, as well as Muskoka Brewery, which was one of the main sponsors of the festival.
“I approached this like I was hosting a really big dinner party, just with loud music,” Goodman explains. From what he heard, the consensus from people attending was that they appreciated the positive vibes of the festival.
Shawna Patterson, Gravenhurst’s Manager of Recreation Services, was equally happy with how the first-ever festival turned out. She says she was at the wharf on both days. “The reaction was super positive,” she says of the festival-goers. “They were happy to have this here. They want to see it come back”
The festival was on from 2 until around 10 PM on Saturday and from 2 until around 10:30 PM on Sunday. Patterson says the town only received one formal complaint.
“We knew in advance that it would be a bit noisy,” she explains. In March, council gave the festival a noise exemption. Patterson says the festival stayed within the rules and timeframes set by the town.
Will the festival make a return next year? “We’re going to celebrate this victory,” Goodman says. “It was a total team effort. We’re going to take a few days to recoup.”
Patterson says the town wants the festival to return next year. She says the time and location will likely stay the same, but it’s possible off-site camping will be allowed. Patterson says she spoke to Goodman the day after the event ended about having the festival end a little earlier Sunday.
Goodman was a little coyer when asked if the festival will return next year. He says they will revisit the festival in the “not too distant future.”
“Our hope and our intention is that tall pines becomes a tradition and an annual kickoff to summer music season in Muskoka,” Goodman says.