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Northern Lights fest shares lineup additions

Annual festival runs July 6-9 in Bell Park
Zap Mama will appear on the festival’s Main Stage, Friday, July 7, as part of a special night of programming co-curated by NLFB, La Slague, Patricia Cano, and Radio Canada.

Last month, Sudbury’s Northern Lights Festival Boreal (NLFB) made its first lineup announcement, drawing an enthusiastic response from its community and beyond. 

Now, organizers of the July 6-9 Bell Park festival are sharing a mix of lineup additions, the full festival schedule, complete with unique workshop-style performances, available at

NLFB is also announcing its 2023 Meltdown audition winners, and performer details for special 2023 initiatives: July 6’s Red Carpet Party and July 7’s francophone Main Stage. 

Last month’s first lineup announcement was met with great excitement from the community and included names, such as: The Strumbellas, Sloan, Zachary Richard, Mountain City Four, Martha Wainwright, Fast Romantics, TEKE::TEKE, Korea Town Acid, Valdy, FemBots, The Soul Motivators, Lloyd Spiegel, Kalàscima ft. Andrea Ramolo, Stef Paquette (symphonic), Ammoye, Laura Niquay, Brock Zeman, Adrian Sutherland, Sarah Craig Trio, + more (viewable at 

For this new round of announcements, the festival team is thrilled to share the addition of Grammy-nominated, Afro-European musical innovator Zap Mama to the festival lineup. 

She will appear on the festival’s Main Stage, Friday, July 7, as part of a special night of programming co-curated by NLFB, La Slague, Patricia Cano, and Radio Canada.  

Zap Mama is internationally renowned for her flamboyant energy. Her performances are captivating with a combination of multicultural vocal prowess, dance and humour. 

This very special night of music is presented in partnership with Radio-Canada, and will also feature: headliner Zachary Richard, Laura Niquay, and Stef Paquette’s symphonic show. 

With this announcement comes a number of other diverse artists. Léona is the stage name of Marie-Claire Cronier, a former Sudburian and NLFB performer with prior projects.  Léona mixes her distinct songwriting with yé-yé, garage and psychedelic rock in a retro-futuristic package, offering sensual grooves that imply compulsory dancing.

Guitarist, looper, producer, songwriter Sam Klassik is also guaranteed to inspire major dancing. Using mixing and live-looping, swaggy guitar riffs over crushing bass, he weaves up experiences that have rocked dance floors at some of the world’s finest electronic festivals (Envision, Shambhala, Electric Forest, and Sonic Bloom). 

Paul Dunn has been a repeat performer at the festival since the very beginning, known for his guitar artistry and poignant songwriting. Dunn is back for 2023 to debut a new project with friend and collaborator David Lickley. 

Paul Dunn & David Lickley will be performing co-written songs from their new album, Songs of A Northern Train, which was recorded long distance during the pandemic.

NLFB will also present Sudbury-loved singer-songwriters Stef Paquette, Dayv Poulin and Edouard Landry, together as Les Bilinguish Boys. These rare trio appearances provide a nice, intimate vibe, as these three successful, charismatic solo artists and frequent collaborators explore material spanning their respective catalogs. 

King Cardiac will also appear at the fest, including a set headlining the July 6, after-hours, Red Carpet Party at Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury. The band features frontman Gabriel DeSantis and members of Toronto’s Heavyweights Brass Band exploring matters of the heart through heavy soul and brooding R&B. This band sees the marriage of DeSantis’ “Mesmerizing and darkly curious” songwriting (CBC music) with the teeth of The Heavyweights, a “molten mix of elegance and brute force” (Toronto Music Report). The potent combination of fervent vocals and stormy musicianship makes King Cardiac wholeheartedly unique and distinctly Canadian. 

PA.II and Nyama Nyama Sound is an exciting Sudbury-based artist and group making a festival debut for 2023. PA.II is a Nigerian born singer/songwriter blending Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall and hip-hop, and beyond, to create a versatile and energetic sound. 

This past April 22, Northern Lights held its annual audition/showcase event for Northern Ontario artists, titled NLFB Meltdown. Through the afternoon and into the evening, a talented and diverse array of musicians performed for enthusiastic crowds and a lucky panel of judges. 

Rock band Heatstroke took the title in the band/ensemble category, and inventive singer-songwriter Jeidei was the winner in the solo/duo category. Vintage-inspired rock band Pop Mach!ne was a special runner-up in the band category. These artists will all appear on festival stages this July, showcasing their music and performance live. 

Other artists being announced in this round include: Spice Islands, The Cloves, Jeff Stewart’s Spirit of World Drumming, Little Fingers Music, Tasheena Sarazin, Steve and the Royal Motel, and Dubgee. 

To give music lovers a flavour of the lineup, NLFB has created an official festival playlist on major streaming platforms, featuring the 2023 lineup. It can be accessed at

For full pricing and details, as well the schedule, artist profiles, or to apply as a vendor or volunteer, contact the NLFB office at 705-674-5512 or visit the website at Stay tuned for details on off-site camping and hotel packages - coming soon.


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