Cavendish Beach Music Festival : Debrief

By July 12, 2016 No Comments

For all of you plaid shirts, pocket peeker shorts, and 4x4 truck drivers, Cavendish Beach Music Festival is your type of saloon. Recap of our weekend at the Cavendish Beach Music festival 2016.

Before we begin, let’s be honest with ourselves; there truly are 2 categories of country fans; those who wear it proudly and those who have a hard time proclaiming to enjoy predicable alibies of love and whiskey sipping. Regardless where you stand, each year, in butt frigs nowhere; a flock of country fans in the thousands show up to this 3 day event concert. This year was no exception with celebrity status performances by Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry, Old Dominion, and that other guy from a show that sits on red chairs ; right Blake Shelton from the Voice.

Where the heck is Cavendish ?

Remember that book about a freckled girl with red hair? Cavendish is the birthplace of Anne of Green Gables. And other than the thousands of Japanese tourists who visit the place each year, one event brings the Ho in Ho-Down with arguably the biggest festival in the Maritimes, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Cavendish is located in Prince Edward Island. This province is located on the east coast of Canada being the smallest in size and in population at roughly 145 000 citizens for those who don’t remember 6th grade geography.

What’s the big fuzz ?

I’ve got to say, I am not one for country let alone country concerts, yet this has been my second year in a row attending the event. Why do I keep on attending one might ask? Bands that sound goody alright, a fantastic atmosphere and being a maritimer.

Very rarely do you ever attend a concert that makes you appreciate how versatile country music really is. During the weekend you get to appreciate everything from classic Bluegrass to up and coming artists that mixes rap and pop to country music. What I found fascinating, it seems like all of it is ok. As long the melodies and the beats are somewhat cohesive with country, artists can use this wide range of creativity to create unique sounds. I am not the biggest of fans as I mentioned before, but I remember head bopping to the artist “The Band Perry“ and thinking “I know these songs !?“ they were giving grand ol country twist to classic hits from Black Eyed Peas and the Eurythmics. And it actually felt like that the entire weekend. Although you don’t know the songs, you very much feel like you know every sound at the same time. I don’t know if it’s the predictability of country tunes, but I could somehow sing along not knowing who the bands were nevermind what songs I was singing. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but country fan or not, you somehow get submerged in the melodies.

The diversity of the crowd goers also makes you appreciate what I would almost consider a Maritimes phenomenon. Considering there aren’t as many events in the Maritimes as in Montreal or Toronto, there is a mutual feeling among Mari timers to participate at whatever is happening. On one end of the concert you have the older generation laidback in comfortable lawn chairs savouring the sweet sounds of banjoes and gossiping about Carla sitting a few rows down. On the other end of the venue across a wall that literally separates sober and drunk you find the daisy dukes, phrat boys and cowboy hats, and A LOT of them. Where else can you get super drunk while mom and dad are a few hundred feet away? They also attend the event from across the region, case and point ; five Monctionians who took a 300 hundred 2 hour cab ride to Cavendish at 3 o’clock in the morning to find out the concert is over and now they have nowhere to sleep (which actually happened). The best way to describe the phenomenon; it’s what’s happening in the Maritimes and people feel they need to be there.

Not convinced yet to attend? Let the warmth of maritimers help you with that. Canadians are known to be generous and welcoming people, maritimers are like Canadians on the 1st of July but all year round. Missing a few dollars for your poutine? Your neighbor can cover it (which actually happened) bump into Nathan Mackinnon from the Colorado Avalanche on the eve of his 7 year 44.1 million contract? No biggie, he’ll chat you up like you’re one of the boys (which also actually happened).


The event has had some bad luck in recent years, especially with an event that is held in the heart of the summer. 2 years ago hurricane Arthur ravaged the area which led to Blake Shelton canceling his show (which he referenced on a number of occasion during his performance). This year was not as bad, but not great. Temperatures hovered around 19 degrees on Friday, 15 degrees on Saturday and Sunday with practically no sun the entire weekend and showers on Sunday. WE’RE IN JULY PEOPLE ! Yet to my astonishment, there seemed to be more people this year than last year’s sun kissed event, and it doesn’t have an impact on their outfits either. You could tell most people had these planned out months in advance. No one it their good mind would ever consider wearing a no bra lace shirt tank top when you could arguably wear a light coat. But hey, I get it, it’s quite hard to fetch a decent amount of “likes” on Instagram if I am wearing a light coat, so better stick to the lace outfit.

Sunset campground.

I know, this has nothing to do with the event, but then again, it has so much to do with the event. Located just outside the venue is Sunset campground where the partygoers camp out for the entire weekend. God bless them young souls who race against one another in what seems to be a competition of who can be the first to pass out drunk before the show starts. I always find these rather bizarre considering a general ticket price for Saturday was 115$, quite a hefty prize for napping all day on the grass.

All in all, it’s a great time that allows you to appreciate what you secretly enjoy, country music. If there is a little of Dukes of Hazzard in you, from banjo players to country superstars, the event is a true Honkey-Tonk of a time. Just be careful for that maritimer warmth.

by Julien Robichaud

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