By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
It’s four years strong for the Ol MacDonalds Music Festival at Buffalo Lake north of Stettler, and judging by this year’s line-up it’s getting better every year.
Number-one selling recording artist Michelle Wright is headlining the festival Saturday night said campground owner and festival promoter Kevin MacDonald by phone Sept. 1.
He said a big name is a must-have for a great music festival. “We have to have somebody that everybody knows,” said MacDonald by phone.
“I love Michelle Wright. She was dong it when country (music) was still country.” MacDonald said he has always been impressed with Wright’s unique sound, strong in country and western tradition but influenced by other genres.
He said the line-up of acts for the weekend event has a strong country and western, bluegrass and folk flavour. MacDonald said he leans toward a more country-oriented festival, as the event is aimed at a 50 plus crowd and from his experience these are the sounds that people in that group want to hear.
Being a major fan of country and western music himself for many years, MacDonald said he likes to have a real 80’s and 90’s flavour to the line-up, with even a nod back to 1970’s country music.
However, he said the line-up reflects a few steps off the country music path. “We’ve got Valdy coming this year,” said MacDonald, referring to the internationally renowned folk artist. “He’s kind of folksy. He and Gary Fjellgaard have traveled together for eons.”
MacDonald said quite possibly the best-kept secrets at the music festival could be Tim Hus (MacDonald described as “One of Canada’s best kept secrets”) and the Give Em Hell Boys. “I love those guys,” said MacDonald.
This year MacDonald said Lucky Sonne is a performer to watch out for. He said he’s very good with a folksy sound, but kind of country. “A really unique sound,” added MacDonald.
He said he knows the atmosphere of the festival is attractive, as performers always approach him to ask if they can come back the following year.
The campground owner said the beer gardens are always a lot of fun, and this year will feature two lives acts.
He said the weekend is shaping up to be a memorable one. “So, I’m pretty pumped,” he added.
And what about next year? MacDonald said he already has next year’s headliners in mind, and they will probably be names you’re familiar with, such as Gordon Lightfoot.
“I like to keep it Canadian,” he added.
More information, including ticket prices and campground rates, is available online by checking www.olmacdonalds.com, or calling 403-742-6603.