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Ready to get weird, Sudbury? Up Here ready for lift-off once again

Popular summer festival of music, urban art and just general strangeness is back

After a year off thanks to the pandemic, the Nickel City’s annual celebration of music, urban art and weirdness — Up Here — returns Aug. 20.

Festival organizers made the announcement this morning that Up Here 7 will be “tailored to the current climate” to ensure the safety of participants and artists, but will definitely include the same vibe that has made the festival so popular.

The seventh edition of Up Here runs Aug. 20 to Aug. 22, and is presented by Downtown Sudbury BIA.

The action will, of course, be centred around Up Here’s signature geodesic dome, pop-up bar and deejays down on Durham Street.

“We’ll be opening Up Here Square a week before the festival for it to become a free space for people to safely reconnect with their city, downtown establishments, and each other,” said Christian Pelletier, co-founder of Up Here. “With all the patios and bustling activity downtown lately, it really is the place to be. Up Here Square will support those initiatives and grow as our comfort level grows around the idea of gathering together as a community again.”

Up Here Square will be open to all at no cost from Aug. 13-22.

What would Up Here be without public art?

The seventh edition of Up Here will see the creation of six new murals by artists, including internationally acclaimed Canadian muralist Kevin Ledo, designer and tattoo artist Alex Berens, director of the McEwen School of Architecture Dr. Tammy Gaber, social worker and graphic designer Lauren Verwolf, designer and illustrator Sarah Dempsey, and Ethiopian-born multidisciplinary artist DRPN Soul presented in collaboration with Black Lives Matter Sudbury.

The Power Up Project, which sees artists transform electrical utility boxes around the city into works of art, is back, too, thanks to a continued partnership with Greater Sudbury Utilities. See an example of what we mean with this timelapse.

Local artists invited by Up Here this year include Amanda Durkin (Amandatomical Art), Mélanie Gagné, Jessica Joly, Derek Longe, Gaurav Saini, and Danielle Provencher.

Up Here 7 will also see the creation of four art installations in and around downtown. Installation artists include Studio Nude Beach from North Bay, local Black multidisciplinary artist collective Solaris, Montreal’s paper folder Origami Explorateur, and Toronto-based mixed media artist Casey Watson

The immersive and interactive art installations will be presented on Up Here Square and in vacant storefronts along Cedar Street during the weekend of August 20-22.

More details about the programming will be announced leading up to the festival on social media, Up Here said this morning.

Up Here is made possible thanks to the community support of countless allies including Presenting Sponsor Downtown Sudbury, Barrydowne Paint, Equipment World, Greater Sudbury Utilities, the Ontario Arts Council, the government of Ontario, Ontario Creates, the City of Greater Sudbury, Sudbury Tourism, RBC Royal Bank, Copy Copy Printing, Studio123, and many more. To partner up with Up Here, visit