The second annual Ol’ MacDonalds’ music festival was held over the weekend of Sept. 11-13, with the biggest draw being Alberta’s country star Ian Tyson, who charmed the crowds with his performance.
“I grew up listening to Ian Tyson!” said Rique Dempsey, a Stettler resident who was seated right up front to enjoy Tyson’s music. “My mom had his Cowboyography album on tape and we’d always listen to it in the truck, because something about his music just feels like home.”
The music festival, which started in 2014 was called the Boom Town Music Festival, but this year organizers Jean MacDonald and son Kevin MacDonald changed the name to Ol’ MacDonalds’ Music Festival.
Because of its “resounding success”, the MacDonalds thought it would be a “great idea” to host it annually and entertain the community.
“Just to have a fun weekend for the adults, because we have entertained kids all summer long and thought it would be nice to have something for the adults,” said Kevin MacDonald. “I love country music and mum loves country music, and we know some people in the industry, which made it a little more accessible to host it.”
The festival kicked off on Friday, Sept. 11 with John Carlyle, and was followed by singer Tim Hus.
Danny Hooper performed soon after with the closing act being the band Give ‘Em Hell Boys.
There were vendors selling a wide variety of merchandise, and a beer garden had been organized, which catered to visitors.
Saturday the lineup was longer starting with Kym Simon at noon.
The other singers and musicians who performed were Ben Crane, Magnolia Buckskin, Trevor Panczak, Tracy Millar, Give ‘Em Hell Boys, Denver Danes, Ian Tyson, Duane Steele, with the closing act being Jason Greeley at the beer gardens.
The festival closed on Sunday with cowboy church.
Speaking about the festival, Kevin MacDonald hoped that their carefully selected lineup would draw a lot more people than the previous year.
“We are hoping we will have in excess of 600 people or more, even 800,” said MacDonald.
And crowds thronged the campgrounds on all three days, with the maximum turnout being for Ian Tyson’s performance.