MAGNETAWAN – Music fans are invited to take part in a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience.
“What better way than to submerge yourself in different kinds of music and maybe discover something you can’t live without,” said Amy McIsaac, front woman for the band Hey Amy, which is set to perform in Magnetawan in August.
Founded by Dave Plank, Carl Lorusso Jr. and Adam Beer-Colacino, beginning August 24, the Lorusso family farm on Old Nipissing Road will be transformed into a weekend of camping and outdoor concerts known as Lorussopalooza.
Last year marked the first official edition of the festival, drawing more than 120 guests via word-of-mouth.
After deploying a full barrage of advertising, Plank says this year the trio plan to cap admission at 250 campers.
“The property could easily hold 1,000 tents that could all see the show, but we’re trying to grow the festival slowly as we figure out how to run a festival,” he said with a laugh.
Plank said he thinks they will try to maintain a small festival feel, never going beyond 400 to 500 guests.
The venue serves as a meeting ground for northern and Toronto bands.
“A lot of Northern Ontario talent has their eye set on Toronto, so we’re trying to foster that connection,” explained Plank, noting he, Lorusso Jr. and Beer-Colacino met on the Toronto music scene.
An Orillia native, McIsaac says she’s looking forward to making connections in the music world that will hopefully lead to working relationships for the future – something that isn’t always an option north of Toronto.
“There seems to be more of a hub in the city because there are so many more bands. In Northern Ontario it’s more of a weekend thing,” she said. “So finding someone in the same genre as you is a lot more difficult.”
Hey Amy is described as a blend of alternative country similar to the style of Blue Rodeo. Lorussopalooza performers also include Erik Bleich, Dany Laj and the Looks, and Mark Cassidy.
“It’s a pretty diverse lineup and the bands that are performing are top notch,” said Plank, adding the performers cover everything from classic rock to blues to pop music.
A full festival lineup is available at www.lorussopalooza.com.
Lorussopalooza begins Friday night with an open mic and campfire jam, as well as a potluck, which is partially sponsored by Free Times Café in Toronto.
Saturday marks the main event with 10 acts set to perform and a free barbecue dinner. Sunday morning breakfast options are available for a small fee.
“I think part of the experience is just being able to sit in the grass with friends and enjoy some great music,” said McIsaac. “Canada lives for outdoor festivals in the summer.”