This weekend is a big deal in my small town. It’s the weekend of the annual Verona Cattail Festival. It kicks off with a parade that lasts about 10 minutes and has more people in it than watching it, features a Red Green Cardboard Duct Tape Boat Race where entrants make a boat out of cardboard and duct tape and everybody cheers as the boats sink, a pancake breakfast, fish fry and antique car show (on today if you’re looking for something to do and like antique cars).
For me, the highlight of our little festival is the music on the main stage. The organizers do a great job attracting talent from all genres. Last night the best act was a group called the Bon Evans Band—a guy who looked and sounded like Cat Stevens who played all originals, but the celtic group and Rockabilly Allstars were fun too.
The reality today is, most of us listen to music through some sort of device. It’s great that music is now universally accessible thanks to iTunes and iPods, but we’ve lost that experience of seeing the musicians on stage, hearing the music live and watching the performers interact with the audience. Many artists now have to charge exorbitant amounts for their concerts since it is their primary source of income.
At one point last night, I was watching the band. The sun was setting over the fields. Beside the stage were two Canadian flags gently billowing in the wind. Beside the stage Clare was dancing with friends and an older couple were dancing. It was a one of those blissful moments when you realize there is no place you’d rather be and no better place in the world to live than in Canada.
This week’s #HappyAct is to listen to some live music. The more intimate the venue, the better. Tap your toes, get up and dance, let the music take you away. A plug: if you’re out on a Saturday night in Kingston, my co-worker Tim Aylesworth and his buddy Craig Jones are always playing at Tir Nan Og Irish Pub on Ontario Street on the patio–he’s a great singer songwriter.