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Yarmouth band 'Salem Road' plays at the 2022 Coal Shed Music Festival on Saturday, August 20, 2022 (Acadia News Photo)

Coal Shed Music Festival ending after 17 years

By Kevin Northup Jan 31, 2024 | 12:33 PM

A long-running event on the Yarmouth waterfront is ending.

The Coal Shed Music Festival will not return for an 18th year.

Organizer Phil DeMille says health issues have made it difficult to continue.

He says the festival has had a huge impact for the area.

“I get calls every year from all over Canada, saying they’ve heard of our festival. They can’t believe how long it’s been going on,” says DeMille.

While he hopes others can revive it, he feels an assessment of the event is needed first.

DeMille adds, the festival took on a life of its own.

“Especially for a lot of musicians that never had the chance to perform in front of crowds. We gave them that opportunity, and we supported them in whatever way we could.”

DeMille says they’ve never charged admission, but collected donations of thousands of dollars annually to school food programs.

He says he’s still going to be playing music.

Phil DeMille, organizer of the Coal Shed Music Festival (Y95 News Photo)