The Capital Region’s newest music festival is fittingly called the Seven Music Fest, because organizers are feeling lucky to have such an amazing lineup for their first time out.
The first-ever Seven Music Fest will take over Seven Hills in St. Albert on Saturday, July 4, headlined by the Sam Roberts Band and featuring Current Swell, Tupelo Honey, Jeff Stuart and the Hearts, and Scenic Route to Alaska.
“It’s an absolute thrill,” says festival organizer Barry Bailey. “When we first came up with the idea, we had all sorts of ideas about who you’d like to have, but you have to balance that against your budget, of course. But I’m really thrilled with this lineup. It’s a good, diverse lineup of performers.”
Bailey has dabbled in music and event management his whole career so, when the opportunity came up to put on a festival in his own backyard, he jumped at it.
“It was just arriving at the right combination of what the festival is going to look like and getting the financing in place,” he says.
In setting the lineup, Bailey wanted a distinct local flavour. Two members of Current Swell originally hail from St. Albert, as do several members of Tupelo Honey – including lead singer Dan Davidson, a member of Avenue‘s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2014.
But he says he didn’t want to pin the festival to a specific genre of music.
“I wanted a festival that would appeal to younger adults that would feel comfortable bringing their kids along, or even someone in my age group that could take maybe their older kids along, and there would be good music that would be appreciated by various age groups.”
Seven Hills – officially Mission Park – was an obvious choice as the venue, considering it forms a natural amphitheatre just steps from downtown St.Albert. But with schools, homes and historic sites nearby, Bailey made sure to consult with the neighbourhood before moving ahead.
“All I heard, completely and 100 per cent, was ‘Yeah, you should go for it,'” he says.
While this year’s festival is the first, Bailey says he is already planning up to five years into the future.
“You have to really think long term when you start a project like this,” he says. “We want to grow it in baby steps the first year or two, grow it naturally as we move forward.”
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.