Riverfest attendance hits high note with City and Colour headlining

ELORA – Another Riverfest Elora has come and gone, once again bringing big acts and a weekend of music to Elora.

“It went really well,” said festival manager and artistic director Spencer Shewen. “All the feedback so far has been amazing.

“We’re already thinking of ways to improve things for next year.”

The 11th Riverfest ran from Aug. 16 to 18 and though the total attendance numbers were unknown by press time Shewen said Saturday was the busiest day with about 6,000 people in the crowd.

This year’s headliners included The Sheepdogs on Friday night, City and Colour on Saturday Night and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on Sunday.

Originally Jesse Reyez was to headline Friday, however she injured her back and cancelled her August tour dates on July 30. The Sheepdogs stepped up to fill the spot.

“Everyone loved The Sheepdogs and they killed it,” Shewen said. “The energy was incredible.

“So happy they were able to help us out of a tough spot.”


The music festival of the summer brought a little rain and a lot of talent to the riverbanks of Elora. Staff photographers Phil Gravelle, Kelly Waterhouse and Chris Daponte captured a fraction of the action. Clockwise from top left: Joel Plaskett, k-os, Bonjay, Men Without Hats, The Sheepdogs and A Tribe Called Red (dancer).


However, a last-minute artist cancellation was not the only challenge Riverfest organizers faced this year; the weather also threw them for a loop.

“The storms that rolled through were an interesting thing to deal with, but our team (of volunteers) handled it calmly and professionally,” Shewen said. “Everyone was really great.”

This year’s festival had over 500 volunteers.  “Our team … are some of the most generous, friendly and hardworking people I have ever met,” Shewen said. “We are lucky to live in a community where the people embrace art and culture and show their support by showing up, helping out and making everyone’s experience one to remember.

“Our festival wouldn’t happen without our volunteers and we are forever grateful for their hard work and dedication.”

Next year’s Riverfest will take place from Aug. 21 to 23. There is a limited number of weekend passes for $115 plus HST and fees already on sale at riverfestelora.com.

However, no details have yet been released about what Riverfest will look like next year.

“Next year’s fest … it’s a secret,” Shewen said.