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AREA 506 in Saint John in 2019. Image: Submitted/Dan Culberson

Saint John to host new country music festival

By Brad Perry Mar 2, 2023 | 9:00 AM

Some big names in Canadian country music will be taking the stage in Saint John this summer.

The first Boxcar Country Music Festival will take place July 28 and 29 on the Saint John waterfront.

Dean Brody and James Barker Band will headline the two-day festival, which will also include a selection of New Brunswick country music artists.

The new music festival is being organized by the team at AREA 506. Founder Ray Gracewood said they are excited to bring another weekend of music to the waterfront.

“We have heard from fans of country music that this is something they’d love to see in Saint John, and we’ve been working hard to deliver an exciting concept that creates an interesting dynamic with elements from both the East and West coasts,” Gracewood said in a news release.

Similar to the AREA 506 Festival, the inaugural Boxcar Festival will take place in the space adjoining the Waterfront Container Village.

The container village will host a variety of country-themed, family-friendly events including experiential activities, food trucks, and the vendor market throughout the weekend.

“It will truly be a unique experience that extends beyond the concert,” said Gracewood.

Friday’s line-up includes James Barker Band, Hunter Brothers, The Road Hammers, Tristan Horncastle, Jessica Rhaye & The Ramshackle Parade, and Émilie Landry.

The Saturday line-up includes Dean Brody, Madeline Merlo, Sacha, Riley Taylor, Melissa Marshall, and Shawn Richard.

The Boxcar Festival will take place the weekend before the AREA 506 Festival. Gracewood said there are logistical benefits to having

“The thinking was having two very unique and different events one week apart creates a really interesting and pulsed activity that hopefully will bring an energy to the uptown area that will transcend from mid-July through to mid-August,” he said.

Tickets are now on sale at boxcarfest.ca. They include a limited number of early bird weekend passes for $139 plus taxes and fees.

General admission weekend passes are $169 plus taxes and fees while VIP weekend passes are $349.

Single-day general admission and VIP tickets are also available, along with free general admission for
those under the age of 12 accompanied by an adult.

Officials say there are also “very limited” quantities of 10-person VIP pods available.


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