Manitoba

Big Fun Festival fun for everyone

From local newbies to locals gone viral, the Big Fun Festival is going strong. With five days of shows in multiple venues, the festival has something for everyone.
Lawrence Lee played the Ballroom at the U. of W. during Big Fun 2013. (Chris Friesen)

From local newbies to locals gone viral, the Big Fun Festival is going strong.

Organizers Lauren Swan, Stefan Braun, David Schellenberg, Aaron Johnston and Matt Mayor probably zeroed in on the best possible backdrop for a prairie festival - the prairies.

And the timing isn't bad either. January is the month when everyone starts to go a bit stir crazy. People get cabin fever. Souls start to wither.

The mountains of parkas strewn on chairs and tables throughout venues are a testament to the lengths that this community will go to to support the local music scene- Lauren Swan

Even though everyone knows the days are getting longer, somehow our winter manages to remain cold, dark and long. The Big Fun Festival tries to be a welcome antidote to all that.

Over five days, with multiple shows each day and events taking place in a variety of venues, the festival has something for everyone.

This year, the lineup includes Yes We Mystic, The Bros. Landreth, Kieran West and His Buffalo Band, French Press and many others.

According to Co-Founder and Director of Marketing Lauren Swan, this year they have not only expanded by a day, they also have the confidence to bring in larger acts like Polaris Prize listed METZ from Toronto, Calgary's Reckless Heroes and local act Les Jupes.

A number of the artists will dovetail with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival, like Mahogany Frog and Venetian Snares.

Swan says the response from the community over the years has been amazing. "Something that has stood out for me over the years is the tenacity of the music lovers in this city," she said. "Hosting a multi-venue event in the dead of winter is almost a death sentence, but every year more and more people turn out for the shows, no matter how cold it is outside."

"The mountains of parkas strewn on chairs and tables throughout venues are a testament to the lengths that this community will go to to support the local music scene," she stressed, adding that without the support of sponsors and the local community Big Fun would be an impossible feat. 

Check out the Big Fun Festival from January 22 to January 26.

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