New Richmond Bluegrass Festival to go ahead this weekend


The New Richmond Bluegrass Festival will be one of the region's first major events of the year, following the Quebec gouvernment's August 5 announcement giving events the green light with certain restrictions.

The camping area is set to open on Saturday August 29 and shows will get under way on the main stage on Thursday September 3.

Because of travel restrictions in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will have a different look this year. Instead of bluegrass artists from accross North America, the main stage will feature country, folk, bluegrass, cajun and even blues musicians from the Gaspé coast. Among the performers expected to be on hand are Pamela Rooney, Brian Haché, Denis Element Nadine Landry & Sammy Lind and Mike Robertson & Daniel Dion. The house band will be Simplement Country from Matane.

Festival organizers expect the crowd to be mainly from the Gaspé peninsula and eastern Quebec, however according to the president of the Gaspesian Bluegrass Music Association which organizes the festival, tickets have been sold from as far away as the Quebec City area, Montreal and Gatineau.

According to Mike Geraghty, the event will be doing all it can to ensure the safety and well being of attendees. Hand sanitizer will be available and volunteers will be disinfecting washroom facilities and other locations on an ongoing basis. Social distancing and the wearing of masks in covered areas will be enforced and attendance will be limited to two sections with a maximum capacity of 250 people each. The barn (bar and food area) will be open to people from both sections, but will also be limited to a maximum of 250 people at a time.

For more information on the New Richmond Bluegrass Festival, visit their website at www.NewRichmondBluegrass.com.



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