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"The Rock's" George Street Festival!!

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

As mentioned in my “launch” blog, this narrative will be devoted to live music within the Durham Region and surrounding areas. I want to highlight some of the great offerings we have here when it comes to this artform. With real faith that we are turning the corner regarding the Covid Pandemic, I'm certain live music events will open with a bang. I hope we are all able to get ourselves out to soak in all it has to offer. Until then, I will share some past events that I consider myself very fortunate to not only be present at, but to have the opportunity to use my Canon 80D DSLR to obtain a few images.

Without a doubt, Newfoundland is one of Canada’s treasures, and I do not only say this because of my heritage. We can speak to its beauty endlessly, but until you step foot on its rocky land, you can never know. And when you do so, you will know firsthand. The island’s breathtaking landscapes is a photographer’s dream, but it is also home to some extremely talented musicians. Whether they be your uncle in the kitchen with his accordion or the more popular local musicians touring the country or the world, there is no doubt that Newfoundlanders are talented, and it is a true pleasure to take in their local sound.

One of my favourite events on “The Rock”, is the annual George Street Festival in the province’s capital city of St. John’s. Starting on the last Thursday in July, and running for 1 week, the festival is a musical spectacle, highlighting some of Canada’s greatest talents from all genres, from yesterday and today. During the festival, St. John’s’ famous downtown street, George Street, is blocked off from traffic and becomes home to live outdoor music. Concert goers are free to pop into one of the street’s many bars and pubs, stay for a drink (or three) and listen to the indoor entertainment (yes, the live music is not only on the street). Or bring your beverage of choice (alcoholic or otherwise) to the street, and parade through the masses.

The “Kitchen Party” refers to what may (typically does) happen at a family get together on any random night on the island, but usually on a Friday or Saturday evening. As such, the George Street Festival holds their “Kitchen Party” on the Saturday evening of the weeklong festival. This evening is devoted to bands and musicians that play the local/Irish/Celtic folksongs, and the like. You will see fiddles, accordions, guitars, bodhrans (an Irish frame drum), piccolos, etc. etc.

In 2018, during one of my frequent visits to my family’s “home”, I brought the tools of my new passion of photography to the Saturday Evening “Kitchen Party” during the year’s George Street Festival. In this case, the attendees are free to bring their cameras without needing special permission (at least as of 2018). It was a great chance for me to try my hand at Concert Photography! I excitedly framed shot after shot of “Sons of Erin”, Western Canadian Celtic Rockers “Derina Harvey Band (dHB), and headliners “Masterless Men”. A new passion was born!!!

Click here to see a few images from this show:


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