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Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Source: Stan Rogers Folk Festival X)

Stanfest hits the road this summer in Cape Breton

By Kelli Rickard May 28, 2024 | 11:28 AM

The popular Stan Rogers Folk Festival is hitting the road in its 27th season.

Since 1997, this annual celebration of songwriters honouring one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters has been held in Canso.

Organizers have announced a major expansion move for 2024 called the Stanfest Roadshow.

This new hybrid model means more stages onsite and eight more concerts in community venues in Guysborough County that range from 50-300 seats.

Executive director, Troy Greencorn, says “Change is good. There are various ways to grow. With the addition of the Stanfest Roadshow, we are taking the shows to the people. We are also giving our passionate and loyal audience an opportunity and reason to come earlier and stay longer. On top of that, we are creating a lot more employment for artists. This is an innovation opportunity that was hidden in plain sight. We are excited and community response has been over the top.”

Greencorn adds, “Climate change is also providing alarming indicators that indoor, fixed-roof venues are a more practical model for event growth. Regardless of the forces at play, this is the right move at the right time. All levels of government are working with us, ensuring the Stanfest legacy thrives into a 4th decade.”

New artistic director, Steve MacIntyre says, “There are many site-based festivals and many distributed festivals, but few that are both. Our community venue hosts are excited and working closely with us to ensure each concert is a unique experience.”

Some of the acts featured in the first Stanfest Road Show are Lucy MacNeil, Dave Gunning and Morgan Toney.

The concerts will start on July 22nd and lead into the annual summer festival in Canso July 25th to 28th.

Lineup for the first edition of the Stanfest Road Show

According to a release, here are the Stanfest Road Show performers and venues:

  • Monday, July 22 – Opening Gala: Lucy MacNeil and Rankin and the Broken Reeds – Miles MacDonald Performance Centre, Guysborough
  • Monday, July 22 – Troubadours: Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen – Seawind Landing, Charlos Cove
  • Tuesday, July 23- I Wish I Was in Sherbrooke Now: Max MacDonald and Dave Gunning – Sherbrooke Village, Sherbrooke
  • Tuesday, July 23 – Troubadours: Joe H Henry – Seawind Landing, Charlos Cove
  • Tuesday, July 23 – Irishtowners: Morgan Toney, George Hart, Kevin O’Handley, Brian Bouchie, and Gertie Grant
  • Wednesday, July 24 – own Home, We Sing it From the Heart: Carl Bond, Eldon Munroe, Shiretown, Steve MacIntyre, and Dave Gunning – St. Agnes Parish Hall, Little Dover
  • Wednesday, July 24 Kitchen Party: The Once – Jost Building, Guysborough Waterfront
  • Wednesday, July 24 La Grand Démarrage: Mary Beth Carty, Mimi O’Bonsawin, and Les Royal Pickles – Communities Along the Bay Multi-Use Facility, Larry’s River

Tickets and weekend passes are available now at stanfest.com.