MooseFest is back for a sophomore show in Bellevue this Saturday August 6. The one day music festival boasts some of the prairies hottest rock acts with many supporting performers on the bill.
MooseFest is the brainchild of Mark Poppen, proprietor of Funky Moose Audio which hosts an online record store, and Joel Gaudet, president of MooseFest . The duo host the Sit Down Podcast, an series of hourlong explorations of everything music, particularly focusing on prairie and emerging artists. Out of these enterprises, MooseFest was born on the cusp of a two year layoff for performing artists.
“This is the second annual MooseFest,” explains Poppen. “Last year, we organized it throughout the pandemic. We had a window open up for us to organize something; we set it up in about six weeks. And it was a success, so we decided to do it again.”
This year with more lead time and a stable of artists who have appeared on the podcast, the lineup promises premier prairie rock. Anchoring that lineup is Saskatoon power pop trio, W3APONS, whose edgy and melodic tracks have been gaining traction on Canadian radio, including a stay in the Canadian Music Top 20 listings. Also on the card are Winnipeg’s Ex Ǿmerta, a trio whose straight ahead sound incorporates many influences.
For Southern rock and blues fans who like a harder sound, there’s Traitor’s Gate from Prince Albert, who cite influences ranging from the Allman Brothers, to Ywingie, Ozzy, and Eric Clapton. Also hailing from Saskatoon are up and comers The Radiant, who provide a punchy bass driven sound and ethereal synthesizers that lean into a psychedelic bent.
Other acts include The Hourhand and Northern Royals. In keeping with the spirit of the small Francophone community, MooseFest in Bellevue also welcomes bilingual artist Christie-Anne Blondeau performing along with other independent acts in between headliners.
Poppen confesses that this year’s MooseFest leans a bit more to the rock side of the music spectrum. That’s more by circumstance than by design, he says.
“It’s a bit of an accident. It’s not that we intended to make this a rock concert, but it just happened to be that the bands we booked this year are in the rock genre. We don’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves into just being a rock concert, so next year, we have some country and folk artists on our radar that we want to have come out.”
The Funky Moose crew has everything set up at the Bellevue Sports Grounds for what promises to be an outstanding day of music and fun. Food will be available on site with a beer garden. Tickets are available online; pre-purchasing is suggested to avoid lineups at the entry. Those tickets are available at moosefestsk.ca.