Wintersong Music Festival announces in-person return to Stouffville, Ontario with a star-studded lineup and over 100 local performers
Are you as excited about the return on live music as we are? Guinness World Record winning Wintersong Music Festival is back and over the course of two days they will be showcasing over 100 bands and 15 venues, the perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of things!
Stouffville non-profit organization ‘Warm Hearts Collective’ released the updated lineup for Wintersong Music Festival, taking place Friday, March 25th & Saturday, March 26th, after having to postpone due to increased COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario. Presented by the award-winning, female-led Trentadue Torres Group, RE/MAX All-Stars Realty, Wintersong features over 100 performances over the two-day event, including headlining sets from Bif Naked, Charles Spearin (of Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think), Toronto art-rock sensations The Darcys and acclaimed R&B/soul songstress, Quisha Wint. The festival, including headliner shows, is entirely free for all to attend.
Designed with small business owners and independent musicians in mind, Wintersong utilizes local restaurants, bars, cafes and retail spaces as venues over the two-day event which will see more than 100 performances take place. The festival was started in 2018 to honour the Guinness World Record for the Longest Concert of All Time, achieved in Stouffville in 2017. This year will mark the five-year anniversary of the achievement of the record, which is still held by event production company Epidemic Music Group and the large team of volunteers who formed nonprofit organization Warm Hearts Collective in order to continue holding community-centric live music events in Stouffville.
Originally scheduled for January of 2022, Wintersong was postponed due to the most recent COVID-19 shutdown. The timing of the new dates is impactful for Stouffville businesses, namely the venues who have had a challenging period of restrictions to navigate throughout the pandemic. This year more than ever, Wintersong will serve as a much-needed relief effort as businesses begin to navigate a post-Covid world.
Attendees can expect a few changes at the 2022 festival, which is expanding from 8 venues in historic Stouffville Village to 15 venues across the entire town. A free shuttle bus will run continuously throughout the event transporting festival-goers between venues safely and with ease.
The Wintersong Youth Stage, running Saturday, March 26th from 11am – 4pm at Latcham Hall (8 Park Dr, Stouffville, ON) will feature local performers under 18 years of age. “We are thrilled to provide a place for youth in our community to perform at Wintersong” says Heather Cook, who is responsible for booking and scheduling the acts. Stouffville’s Boston Pizza, also a Wintersong Venue, will be providing free meals for all Youth Stage performers at this year’s festival. “We couldn’t be happier with the support we have received from Boston Pizza for our Youth Stage performers. We want to make this a truly memorable experience for young musicians and what could be better than getting to enjoy delicious pizza after your set?”
Unlike festivals of similar format Wintersong does not require artists to pay an application fee or meet promotional thresholds in order to be compensated for their performance. “Applications to play at Wintersong are free and every performer is paid” says production partner Kevin Ker of Epidemic Music Group.
Ker hopes the Wintersong model will serve as a disruptor in the multi-venue festival scene. “Many of the festivals we’ve produced have taken place in parks or city spaces where outside food trucks are brought in. Wintersong reroutes business (and funds) back into local businesses and helps to promote them within the community.”
“Wintersong was the last festival to occur in Stouffville in 2020 and the first to return in 2022” says Ker. “We are incredibly excited to be expanding town-wide this year. The enthusiasm and excitement from the local and musical communities is encouraging and we’re looking forward to the long-overdue opportunity to gather in celebration of live music and support local businesses after a long, quiet two years”.