Be sure to get your finest cowboy hat and your toughest boots ready: it’s time again for the annual Boots and Hearts Festival. Though, considering the event is four days long and features 40 performances, one might want to trade in those boots for something more comfortable.
The Boots and Hearts Festival is at the Burl’s Creek event grounds in Oro-Medonte for its seventh straight year from Aug. 9-12.
“We’ve worked hard to put together a world-class line-up,” says festival co-founder Eva Dunford. “We are also extremely proud that over half of our talent is comprised of Canadian artists for fans to discover.”
This year’s festival is headlined by country music superstars Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, Billy Currington, Dallas Smith and Brett Young. They’ll be supported throughout the weekend by acts including, Midland, LOCASH, James Barker Band, The Washboard Union, Lindsay Ell, Russell Dickerson, Meghan Patrick and Walker Hayes.
“It’s all about the sense of belonging you feel while dancing and singing to your favourite songs,” says Lisa Zechmeister, festival booking and development director.
Also, it’s no secret that country music is sometimes thought of as a boy’s club. It’s important to Boots and Hearts to make sure this becomes a thing of the past. To this end, the festival has included many notable female country performers. They include Genevieve Fisher, Kira Isabella, Runaway June, Kelsi Mayne, Madeline Merlo, Maggie Rose, Sacha, Emma Wright and Natasha Zimbaro.
In keeping with Boots and Heart’s dedication to community, the festival also features an emerging-artists showcase. Based on video submissions, eight artists are chosen to perform on the main stage alongside the industry’s finest. The showcase has helped launch the careers of James Barker Band, who’ll be performing again this year, and Tebey and Tim Hicks.
“We like to be on the cutting edge of those up-and-coming artists,” says Dunford, “We know that today’s afternoon slot is tomorrow’s headliner.”
Easily Canada’s biggest country music and camping festival, the organizers are expecting more than 40,000 to attend this year’s event.
“Boots and Hearts has grown into a must-attend festival since its launch in 2012,” says Zechmeister. “Fans come to Burl’s Creek for more than great music, they come for the “Boots life” that emerges when 40,000 people come together.”
Indeed, it’s more than just music, attractions include a spectacular LED ferris wheel and a 100-foot swing ride. The intent is to provide fans with the greatest value possible for a festival experience. This year, the festival even includes an official radio partner. IHeart Radio Canada, who have just launched Boots and Hearts Radio, will be on site with live coverage broadcast across the country, including interviews and music from the festival.
The venue itself, Burl’s Creek, can also be considered a feature of the festival. It is the largest outdoor event venue in the country but manages to pride itself on a clean, safe and eco-friendly experience.
“It’s extremely rare for a private festival producer to be the owner of a 600-acre parcel of land on which it plays,” Dunford says. “It’s a pleasure to be a neighbour in this community and positively impact the local economy with the work that we do.”
Whole-weekend or single-day tickets are available and they come in general admission or VIP. Click here for details.