Fredericton's Harvest Jazz is back — with a new name

·2 min read
Harvest is back and will run from Sept. 14 to 19 in Fredericton. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)
Harvest is back and will run from Sept. 14 to 19 in Fredericton. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)

Fredericton's beloved Harvest has a new name and a new lineup.

The city's annual music festival, which was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, is making a comeback this September, and organizers have been working for months to reimagine this year's event.

"We started in December trying to anticipate what this might look like," festival music director Brent Staeben said.

"What we're presenting today is the fourth iteration of what we've been working on."

Formerly called Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the new Harvest Music Festival will run from Sept. 14 to 19.

"We simply have been referring to it as Harvest for many years now, so not much change there," Staeben said.

Survey says

The festival launched a survey last month asking people how they would feel about going to a concert at this stage of the pandemic.

"We wanted to be able to present something where people were going to get together like they have in the past," Staeben said.

Of the more than 3,100 people who responded to the survey, 92 per cent said they would consider attending.

Changing the festival's name is expected to broaden the appeal.

"The most popular response for people who don't go to Harvest has largely been, 'I don't go because I don't like jazz and blues,'" Staeben said.

"So the name change is really about inclusion ... we're more musically diverse and we've been that way for many, many years."

Serena Ryder, David Myles, The Revivalists – and the Jenn Russell Big Band, featuring the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health as lead singer – are a few of the many artists that will perform at the festival.

Performances are held at venues throughout the city's downtown core, and a free stage will also be running in Officers' Square throughout the afternoons and evenings.

Tickets go on sale July 16.

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