I can’t believe it has taken me almost four years of living in Kingston to visit Wolfe Island. There wasn’t a better excuse for a weekend away than the 2013 Wolfe Island Music Festival. The longtime tradition on the island has long been named as one of the best summer festivals anywhere.
The Wolfe Island event has a more laid-back atmosphere than most festivals I’ve attended. That is very apparent as you walk down the main street. Local restaurants and the hotel (which doubled as a venue for part of Friday’s music showcase) lined the calm residential island. Roaming around between venues, I caught up with a few familiar faces and met music-loving strangers. First to hit the stage were The Rhythm Haints. A friend suggested I check out this local band, which has been creating quite a buzz with their stellar vocalist and complex blues rhythms. Needless to say, the crowd was pumped. Closing the show was P.E.I. natives Two Hour Traffic, who definitely rocked.
Booking it down the hill as dusk fell, I stopped briefly at The Island Grill, where Outside Music presented Leif Vollebekk, a Montreal-based singer and songwriter whose music caught me off guard as I stood mesmerised by his sound. As hard as it was, I was pulled away by the sound of the Bahamas in the distance, they were closing the main stage. Barrie’s Alfie Jurvanen, who plays under the name Bahamas, was definitely a fan favourite for Friday night, the biggest crowd response went to his song, Lost in the Light.
I quickly learned you pay the price for enjoying the full set, as hip-hop styles of Buck 65 reached max capacity early on. Upon gaining entry, I was quick to understand why. A positive surprise, his seamless blend of danceable hip-hop beats and rhyming about life experiences from lost love to the Internet, Buck65 kept the crowd dancing and laughing as a one-man show.
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Check back as I was able to sit down with performers The Born Ruffians and DIANA band while at the festival! Their interviews will be up early next week.