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Festival focus: Northern Lights is just right for Dan Mangan

Mangan said he had a good time at the large industry gathering, although “people feel if they wear their hat the right way, they're going to get signed for $1 million or something.
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Dan Mangan + Blacksmith are the Sunday headliners at this weekend's Northern Lights Festival Boréal. Supplied photo.
Mangan said he had a good time at the large industry gathering, although “people feel if they wear their hat the right way, they're going to get signed for $1 million or something.”

All in all, Mangan prefers being out on the summer festival circuit, which has none of the pretense of South by Southwest.

“Summer festivals are great,” he said. “It's a little bit more relaxed. You get to kind of hang out with other bands and see friends. It's ... more like a picnic than a formal dinner.”

This weekend, Mangan and his band — known collectively as Dan Mangan + Blacksmith — make their first visit to Sudbury's Northern Lights Festival Boréal as the Sunday headliners.

Northern Lights' Friday headliner is the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, while singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer headlines the Saturday night slot.

Mangan, who's previously shared festival stages with Harmer — the Canadian music world is small — said he wishes they could hang out at Northern Lights, but figures she'll leave before he gets there.

The musician promises Sudburians a good show.

“I think we've come to have a reputation of being people who give everything they have every time they're on stage,” Mangan said.

Although Mangan makes light of the music business, he's seen his share of success, even penning the music in the 2014 Simon Pegg film “Hector and the Search for Happiness.”

The 32-year-old is a two-time Juno award winner, and recently released his fourth LP, "Club Meds." It's his first under the moniker Dan Mangan + Blacksmith — the new name symbolizes his creative relationship with his band.

For Northern Lights Festival's full lineup, or to purchase tickets, visit nlfbsudbury.com.


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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