A headliner has been announced for this year’s Hay Days Festival in July.
It will be Alberta’s Garrett Gregory, an up-and-comer on the Canadian country music scene.
“We’re very excited,” said April Glaicar, co-ordinator of the Hay Days Festival. “We know that this might be the last window of opportunity to have Garrett come to Hay River. His career is really going places, and he’s getting harder to get.”
Gregory, who is currently working on his first solo album, is also excited about the opportunity to perform in Hay River, according to written comments provided to The Hub.
It will be his first beach concert – the festival’s Shaker, a licensed evening of music for adults only, is held on the Hay River Beach.
“We’ve never played on a beach, but I’ve seen probably 50 shows on beaches and they’re by far my favourite because who doesn’t like live music or beaches?” Gregory said. “I cannot wait to see people kicking up sand and dancing to our music.”
And it will be his first trip to the Northwest Territories.
“I’m super excited to be playing for you all,” he said of performing north of 60. “It’s honestly an honour being asked to do this show for you.”
Gregory is also looking forward to performing for a crowd of about 500 for the Shaker on July 6.
“Honestly, the smaller a show, the more intimate and personal it is,” he said. “I love these shows because I can develop a connection with the crowd through the music and our ridiculous comedy in between songs. It loses emotion and the raw feeling the bigger a show gets.”
The Shaker will also feature four other bands.
In Hay River, Gregory will be accompanied by the four members of his band.
Along with performing at the Shaker, he will be part of the festival’s Music Hop on July 5. That involves musicians moving between three venues during the evening – the Royal Canadian Legion, The Back Eddy and the Doghouse Sports Bar.
Glaicar noted there will also be an informal meet and greet with Gregory prior to the Shaker on the evening of July 6.
She recalled that she met Gregory two years ago and heard him perform in Calgary, and talked to him about playing at the Hay Days Festival.
The event organizers thought he would be a good fit for the festival, Glaicar said. “Our management committee is also excited that in bringing an up-and-coming headliner to our festival we’ll see new musical friendships forming and the potential for creative networking and maybe even future collaborations for Northern performers.”
The Hay Days Festival, which is presented by the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise, is set from July 2 to July 6.