Sheepdogs replace Jessie Reyez as Riverfest Elora headliner

ELORA – Riverfest Elora has landed The Sheepdogs to headline opening night.

The band replaces planned Aug. 16 headliner Jessie Reyez, who recently injured her back and cancelled all of her August shows.

“[The Sheepdogs] are making their way up the river to come and save Riverfest,” Riverfest Elora officials posted on Twitter on Aug. 2.

“Our Saskatchewan pals decided to help us out in a pinch and we couldn’t be happier to have them back.”

Festival officials were left scrambling to try to find a replacement after learning on July 30 that Reyez re-aggravated a back injury  during her set at the Squamish Constellation Festival on the last weekend in July.

Luckily, Riverfest officials had started weighing replacement options eight weeks prior, when Reyez was first injured.

“It’s difficult to find an artist so close to the date because … artists at that level, at the headliner kind of level, if they have time off, if they’re not booked on that weekend, it’s probably because they’ve got something else planned, like a family event or … a much needed break,” said Riverfest Elora manager Spencer Shewen.

The Sheepdogs answered the call.

“We’re longtime buds of this festival and can’t wait to come back and play alongside so many other great acts,” the Sheepdogs posted on Twitter on Aug. 2.

Shewen is hopeful Reyez will be back next year.

“We are really sad that she’s not coming because we were really looking forward to having her,” he said.

Riverfest Elora runs Aug. 16 to 18. Tickets and concert information are available at

Tickets for Friday night are discounted 20% with the code RFE19SHEEPDOGS.