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Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2016

by Linda Cvetanovic

It looks like we are going to be pulling out the flannel shirts, doc martens, ripped jeans and rockin’ our best “grunge inspired” 90’s wear for the main acts at this year’s Sound of Music Festival.  Get ready for 4 days of FREE MUSIC with an exciting line up starting Thursday June 16th and running through Sunday June 19 in Spencer Smith Park.   Don’t forget that if you want to get an early start on the festival, the ticketed Kick Off Concert headlined by The Cult is Saturday June 11th and tickets are on sale now.

Sound of Music – Thursday June 16

The TD Stage (main stage) gets started with Of Gentleman and Cowards followed by the opening ceremonies at 7:30pm.

The stage will be rocking at 8:00pm when the recently reunited The Killjoys from just down the road in Hamilton hit the stage.  This Juno award winning alt/rock band will having you running for the mosh pit 🙂

Headlining Thursday night is Soul Asylum, best known for Grave Dancer’s Union (1992) that featured the Grammy Award winning best single “Runaway Train“. If  you’re not part of the Gen X crowd,  grab a copy of the movie Reality Bites to get into the spirit and see if you can pick out lead vocalist Dave Pirner’s part in the film.  The band has continued to record beyond the nineties including their 2016 release Change of Fortune.

If you’re a little more country than you are rock ‘n rock then the OLG Stage is the place to be on Thursday night as three tribute acts have us grabbing a red solo cup.  The fun starts at 7pm with a Garth Brooks Tribute, followed by the Shania Twain Experience tribute and capped off with a Keith Urban tribute.  A trio of country goodness!

Sound of Music – Friday June 17

The TD Stage kicks off at 1:00 with a Frank Sinatra tribute, followed by an Elvis tribute and more, a great way to ease into your day.  The evening portion starts at 7:00pm with Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs warming the crowd up before Juno nominated (Best Breakthrough Group) The Elwins rock the crowd in anticipation of the headliner (you still have to wait for this one – announcement coming June 6) at 9:30pm.

The OLG Stage takes a “folky” turn with headliner The Leahys at 9:30pm.  I’ve seen this group perform at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and they have so much energy and spirit, I dare you not to start doing a little jig!

Friday also marks the start of scheduled performances on the Burlington Hyundai Stage, Cogeco Stage and at the Downtown Burlington Streetfest.  Be sure to check the full schedule below for performers and start times.

Sound of Music – Saturday June 18

Saturday all the stages will be in full swing starting at 1pm .  One notable act you’ll want to check out in the afternoon is Small Town Pistols at 3:30pm on the OLG Stage.  The Canadian country music duo are both Juno nominees and CCMA winners.

The main stage headliner will be Canadian indie rockers, Mother Mother, if you haven’t heard them yet, give a listen and then make plans to see them live at the festival.

Sound of Music – Sunday June 19

Sunday isn’t a day of rest at the festival …. the final day features an impressive line up of Canadian talent!

On the main stage you will find Guilty Pleasure and The Mohrs starting the day off.  At 3:30pm Junkhouse will bring their own brand of Hamilton alt rock to the stage.  I remember seeing this band back in 1993 performing a gig at an HMV conference to promote the release of Strays .  Frontman Tom Wilson commanded the stage and blew us away!  On a side note, The Headstones (who are playing the kick off concert) were also performing and between Hugh Dillion and Tom Wilson, it was a pretty crazy showcase.

Finishing the night and the festival off are I Mother Earth.  After a multi-year hiatus these 90’s alt rockers return to the stage with original vocalist Edwin as they  celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their sophomore release Scenery and Fish.  

The OLG Stage will be taking it back with headliner and legendary Canadian band, Lighthouse.  This multi Juno award winning band will have you dancing in the aisles with hits such as One Fine Morning and Sunny Days.

I’m feeling happier already.

For those looking for something a little more rock and a little less alt, head to the Hyundai Stage where hometown rockers The Redhill Valleys will start the day off and get the crowd ready for Canadian rocker Sass Jordan. Sass Jordan has been a hard rocking female artist since the 80’s when she released Tell Somebody and continues to “make us all believers”.


Sound of Music Festival Schedule


I don’t know about you but I’m counting the days until the festival!  If you need assistance planning your visit to Burlington we are happy to help.  Our visitor centre is open daily 9am -4pm.


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