New Brunswick

New acts boost attendance at Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival

Musical acts new to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival are being cited as a reason for increased attendance at this year's event.

About 85,000 people attended this year's festival

This year's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival wrapped up Sunday in Fredericton. (CBC)

New musical acts at this year's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival contributed to the largest crowds the festival has seen on Friday and Saturday, according to organizers.

The festival's music director Brent Staeben explained that musical acts new to the festival — such as Metric, Justin Townes Earle and Stars — increased crowds by attracting new audiences. 

"What was fantastic about this year's festival and what made it, really, I think our best ever, was that so many different genres of music were there and demographics represented. People were excited across a lot of different audiences and that's really how we are sustainable in the long run," he said.

Staeban estimated that 85,000 people were out over the course of the festival, which ran from Tuesday to Sunday, leading to the need to consider expanding the festival outside the downtown core.

Organizers say about 85,000 people attended this year's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

"We need to now start having more additional community conversations about how many people are coming to the festival — how we can work together with the city, with Downtown Fredericton, business owners and residents to figure out how we make it safer, how we make it bigger," Staeben said, looking ahead to next year's event.

"It's incumbent on all of us to come together and spend some time thinking about how we can make that better and easier for everyone."