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Get ready to rock on the river this weekend

The 8th annual Rocking on the River festival runs Saturday and Sunday in Blind River
2018-08-01 Goodnight Sunrise
Goodnight, Sunrise will play Rocking on the River Saturday evening. Photo provided by Goodnight, Sunrise

BLIND RIVER - The Rocking on the River concert venue is set to go this weekend just north of Blind River featuring a mix of music from hard and soft rock, to folk, indie, and country.

It’s hosted on the riverfront property of Guy Serre of Wandering-Elk Promotion and Productions and features some 18 bands over Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can also take advantage of camping and vendors set up for the two days.

But it’s the music that really counts in this annual concert event that has taken place at 135 Royer St. off Highway 557 in Blind River for the past eight years.

Serre purchased the property nine years ago and staged a mini concert for “family and friends.” It has evolved since then with many of the current acts coming as stage returnees to the venue.

The same, according to Serre, goes for visitors to the concerts who come each year driven by the experience they had the year before. And even though tickets are available online, Serre said most people will simply arrive and pay at the gate.

“This district (area) never buys tickets in advance,” he said. “Ticket sales are going slow, but that’s the way it is up here.”

People come from all parts of the province, Quebec and the northern United States to take part in Rocking on the River.

Saturday will see performances by bands and individual musicians that include Steve Ballantyne, Cory Mckenzie, Jim Oleary, Ronin705, Gabe Hunt, Adam Hichey, 2 Againstnature, August Rise, and Goodnight, Sunrise.

Goodnight, Sunrise will be a band to see along with other top talent that will take to the stage. The Toronto-based indie rock band promises an explosive show with confetti canons, glowsticks, and an abundance of relentless energy.

Some music samplings are available here as well as the venue’s list of bands, including Goodnight, Sunrise.

On Sunday, acts will include TBA, Dat Le, Wild Stallions, The Elements, Kimberley Arnold, Adam Hickey, Flathead Ford and rounded out for the day with TBA.

Music and other events will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on each day.

“I’ve put on two, 12-hour shows each year without a glitch,” he said of the trouble-free event hosted each year.

Bringing together a wide range of talent to perform for audiences in northern Ontario is an objective he set up when first establishing the event.

As a former resident in the Toronto area he saw what was available to people living there who were able to listen to any music genre just by walking to a nearby pubs.

“You could see multiple genres of music and up here you didn’t,” he added. So he set up the Rock on the River venue and has seen it steadily grow each year.

There is also a motorcycle show and shine event to coincide with the concert on both days and those attending can vote on the best bike, or dirtiest bike related not only to “bugs on the bike,” but other items one might deem as dirty, Serre said.

All those attending are asked to bring non-perishable foods as a food bank donation which has been the venue’s main cause for the past five years.

Rocking on the River is open to people over 19. There will be no liquor sold on site and Serre is suggesting the venue is ‘BYOB’, though no glass bottles are allowed on the property. Fireworks will not be included this year and no campfires are allowed due to the fire ban.

Events and tickets can be found here.

Gates open this Friday at 4 p.m. on a first come, first served basis, Serre said.


About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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