Bluesfest Day 1

Bluesfest was the original reason I planned to go to Thunder Bay. Growing up, I listened to a ton of Barenaked Ladies and if I had a record or tape, I know the physical media would have been worn out. Luckily, I had a CD and the Stunt album plays just as well as it did 1000 times before. I am also a big Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive Fan, so it was also going to be cool to see Randy Bachman. The first time I visited Winnipeg I told the Canadian border guards the reason I was visiting Winnipeg was because I like the Guess Who and it would be cool to see their old stomping grounds (of course, this did get me pulled into secondary questioning).

I started walking from Night’s Inn and my buddy Ryan eventually picked me up by the Tim Horton’s. We found a parking spot and then got in line. The line was really long.

Of course, there were people standing on the train tracks, so the police got them off the tracks and then would direct the line to make sure more people didn’t stand on the tracks. Over the course of the event, there were many trains that went by.

I guess I didn’t feel too bad about not showing up super early because the line started growing behind me.

Soon, I was by the tracks, and eventually by the tents to pay my admission.

$120 or should I say about $90 American later, I had my weekend pass.

Like most music festivals I go to, I tend to walk around the whole grounds to scope things out and see what’s available. The grounds of Bluesfest were at Marina Park, so there was an awesome view of Lake Superior off in the distance. The vendors made an O shape around the grounds, and overall there was a lot of good food there.

I went over the to beer tent to get a beer. Since I was in Canada, I decided to get a Molson Canadian.

I saw a sign to win free Justin Beiber tickers, so I was going to troll my friend a bit on his Facebook with a picture of this. I went to take a picture of it and the radio station people asked me if I wanted a can koozie. So not only did I get a picture to troll my friend, but also got a free can koozie to keep my beer cold!

I then went by the picnic tables and enjoyed some of the music.

After a while, I was starting to get hungry. I was thinking of eating healthy at the George’s Market tent, but decided against it and got a big Polish sausage instead.

After that I did a little more walking around, I saw the place was really starting to fill up.

I see some people figured it would be cheaper to anchor their boats next to the festival than to come inside.

One thing I noticed about Bluesfest (and I guess I’ll generalize now for Canadian music festivals) is it’s much cleaner. I know Canadians care about their environment much more than Americans, and it does show in how clean the lakes are when I travel and just the environment in general. This was no exception. There were big recycling bins to put your cans in and it seemed like people actually did just that, put the cans in the bin instead of littering all over the place.

Between different sets, Ryan and I would go downtown to places like The Pier. As I mentioned earlier in the blog entry, the cops kept people off the train tracks and for good reason, there were many trains that actually came through and blocked the entrance.

Now to this point, I haven’t really mentioned any of the music. To be honest, I never heard of any of the bands and singers, including the headliner Amanda Marshall. None of them really became popular in the States, or at least got on my radar. With that being said, they all played great! Even though I never heard of them, it was well worth it to see them.

It was definitely a good time and Ryan would peak in and out between going downtown and other things. Eventually, some more of his friends showed up so we had a little group of people to hang out with. The great thing about Bluesfest is it was close to downtown, so when that party ended, another started downtown.

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