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In sudden announcement, two popular Manitoulin festivals cancelled

Rockin’ the Rock and Manitoulin Country Fest are cancelled effective immediately, organizers say, due to an undisclosed health scare
The Hunter Brothers perform at Manitoulin Country Fest in August, 2023.

Two popular Manitoulin Island summer music festivals won’t be returning this year, organizers have revealed in a surprise announcement. 

In a news release, Craig and KT Timmermans said they were “devastated” to announce the closure of Rockin’ The Rock and MCF Manitoulin Country Fest “effective immediately.” 

“A significant health scare is the catalyst behind the decision,” the couple said. “We are very disappointed about the cancellation of the festivals. However, our health needs to be first and foremost – you only have one chance at life.”

The Timmermans said efforts were made to transition the organization of the festivals to a new team, but didn’t work out.

“We simply don’t have anyone who could take over the events and after much careful consideration, this was really our only option,” KT Timmermans said. 

The couple thanked the staff and volunteers, as well as corporate sponsors who made the festivals possible. They also thanked the artists who travelled to play the Island, and the thousands of fans who turned out to support the festivals.

Manitoulin Country Fest was launched in 2007 at Low Island Park in Little Current. Originally a one-day event, it eventually moved to its permanent home on Flat Rock Entertainment Centre in 2012 as a three-day event drawing thousands of people into Little Current daily.  

“Over the years some of the artists gracing the stage included Paul Brandt, Terri Clark, George Canyon, Dallas Smith, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane, High Valley, Brett Kissel, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kelli Pickler, Lonestar, Joe Nicols, Lee Brice, Tanya Tucker, Dwight Yoakum, Clay Walker and so many more.”

The Rockin’ the Rock festival was launched in 2018 as a two-day classic rock concert, attracted thousands of rock fans and musical talent that included Honeymoon Suite, Haywire, Saga, Big Wreck, Streetheart, and Hall of Fame inductees, Trooper.

Ticket refunds are available for those who have already purchased their tickets. They can be obtained directly through Eventbrite or click through the festival website,

For refunds on camping, please email [email protected] by June 1.  Refunds for camping will be processed by etransfer directly.  

“The organizers request your patience as they anticipate it will be a very busy time processing refunds. They request no phone calls, emails only.”


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