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NLFB blends tradition and innovation for 45th anniversary

Headliners announced, camping added to 2016 festival

Northern Lights Festival Boréal will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year when the “cool dad” on the Ontario music festival scene takes over Bell Park July 8 – 10.

On April 18, the festival's organizers announced the lineup for this year's installment of a festival that continues to grow in size and popularity.

Brand new for their 45th year, festival organizers have partnered with a number of local businesses to bring a whole new feature to the festival to accommodate guests from out of town.

“We're launching a series of packages for people coming from out of town,” Max Merryfield, NLFB executive director. “People always ask if we're a camping festival and unfortunately we've always had to say no, but this year we're able to say 'yes, we do have camping',  and that will be at the Mine Mill Campground.”

The festival will provide shuttle buses to and from the campground. And for those who aren't the camping type, the festival has partnered with the Clarion Hotel to offer room and festival packages, or for somewhere in the middle of camping and hotel, there are packages offered at the Cambrian College residences for a hostel-type experience.

Barrie's Afie Jurvanen, better know as Bahamas, will headline Friday evening (July 8) at the festival. Jurvanen is a Juno Award winner and is considered one of Canada's most talented guitarists and will be making his NLFB and Sudbury debut this year.

“He (Jurvanen) is really the top tier of songwriters in this country today,” said Paul Loewenberg, NLFB artistic director.

“It beckons the question of who is the inheritor of the throne and can reach the bar set by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn, well Afie is that performer and we're very thrilled to be able to present Bahamas for the first time.”

Day two of the festival will be headlined by Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, who will be making their return to Bell Park. The fiddling duo are based out of Cape Breton Island but are no strangers to the festival circuit or NLFB.

This year's lineup is jam-packed with performers that blend tradition and innovation and includes a number of Sudbury acts such as Kate Maki, Murder Murder, Collective Roots, Melanie Fortin, Matt Foy, and (unofficial) NLFB mascots Sheesham and Lotus.

Sticking to the recent tradition of massive musical orchestras, NFLB will close out the 2016 festival with Montreal's 16-member Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra. 

The group brings a high-powered combination of Eastern European and Latin American music to the stage and Loewenberg says this is the act that everyone will be talking about when all is said and done.

“This will be the show that you, your friends, your family and everybody will be talking about for years to come,” said Loewenberg.

“With all the right partners and all the right artists we know that Northern Lights Festival Boréal number 45 is going to be done right. We hope to see you all at the park July 8,9, and 10.”


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