photo credit: Capital Photo

Now that the music has stopped and the stage is dismantled, it’s time to give the Second Kemptville Live Music Festival a second look. There was no doubt at all that this year’s event was bigger than the first one, and the increase in the attendance has had a big impact on local business around Kemptville. Karen Bedard, who, with Bob Besharah, led a wonderful team again this year, provided some of the stats for the weekend.

“We had just over 11,300 visitors over the three days of the Kemptville Live Music Festival with Saturday’s attendance as the peak at 4,723. Friday drew 4,320 even with the lightning and Sunday drew 2,288. We hosted over 266 campers, plus some of our own volunteers. Our volunteer base this year grew to 192 individuals.”

This was far from being simply a local event, however. Those 11,300 visitors to the festival site on the Kemptville College campus came from all over Ontario, and from far beyond. From Quebec City to Mississauga, Hamilton and Brantford; from Sarasota, Florida to Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay; from New York State to New Westminster, British Columbia, they came to town for our neighbourhood party. Kemptville Live is now surely one of the top stops on the festival circuit. This was a major event, with top class organisation, and top rated musicians.

The Festival is conducting an on-line survey to, as Karen put it: “solicit feedback from our online ticket purchasers and any of the general public who choose to complete the survey through the link on our website’s homepage. This survey is important to our success by providing input on visitor demographics, spending and experience. Our goal is to bring the festival to Kemptville again next year and we value our patron and sponsor input”.

Bob and Karen have calculated that the Festival generated increased income for the community over the last year, and local businesses certainly felt the benefits of so many visitors. From the local coffee shops, to the fast food outlets and the LCBO, this was a very good weekend for business. This is the kind of idea that produces gain for everyone, and the support given by the Municipality of North Grenville has helped to make it possible. There is some uncertainty about the status of the College grounds for next year’s Kemptville Live, but it is understood that talks between the Municipality and the provincial agency dealing with the College are on-going and should lead to a municipally-owned property by the time the next stage is erected in 2017.

In fact, plans are already in place for the third annual Kemptville Live Music Festival, and it is promising to be an exciting event. Bob Besharah has begun artist negotiations for 2017 and Canada’s 150th. It will take a lot to top the 2016 line up, so we will wait for that first big headliner announcement sometime this fall. This is all still in the planning and talking stage right now, but organisers are very hopeful that more exciting acts will be coming to North Grenville in July of 2017 to continue the magnificent tradition of the Kemptville Live Music Festival.

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