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Rock on the River festival returns to Timmins this July

Rock on the River is amping up for three days of music, car and stunt shows, delicious food, and a community atmosphere.

Rock on the River is amping up for three days of music, car and stunt shows, delicious food, and a community atmosphere. 

The music festival was created by the Timmins Festivals and Events Committee, a group founded in 2015 by eight passionate Timmins residents who wanted to bring more events and festivals to their city. 

“We took it upon ourselves to create an organization that can offer fun events for the community and visitors,” says Lise Groulx, director of communications  for the committee. 

The event has been a great success, with nearly 8,000 attendees last year for the music festival, and 3,000 for the Hollinger Fun Days. The free Fun Days was added to Rock on the River a couple years ago and is open during the day before the ticketed music festival begins in the evenings. It is a free area where families can play with inflatables, climbing walls and mini-putt, and enjoy local music, a stunt show, a car show, food vendors, artisan vendors, and other attractions. The Fun Zone is open until 5PM on Friday, July 19th, as well as on Saturday, July 20th. 

This year, Rock on the River has partnered with Mushkegowuk Council to add an Indigenous Showcase to the opening day (Friday) of the Hollinger Fun Days. The Indigenous Showcase will feature First Nations cultural activities, music, cuisine and more. Everyone is welcome to join, learn, and enjoy. 


As for the ticketed music portion of the festival, the three days of music feature notable names like Bret Michaels, Honeymoon Suite, Lita Ford, Dean Brody, and Tim Hicks. Thursday is the country night, Friday is dedicated to classic rock —Bret Michaels’ set features special guest Dee Snider from Twister Sister and former Journey vocalist Steve Augeri—and Saturday will culminate in a high-energy rock night with performances by Live, Buckcherry, Danko Jones, and Puddy. 

“We have such an amazing lineup. Our committee consists of volunteers who are music-lovers of all genres. Many of the members are musicians and avid concert and festival-goers. When we pick these bands, we also take into consideration all the feedback from the community, through surveys and comments from online posts,” says Lise. 

New attendees might wonder why the festival is called “Rock on the River” when it’s located in Hollinger Park. The festival started out on the river in Participark, but quickly outgrew that location. The committee changed the festival’s location in 2021 to accommodate the growing audience attendance, to fit a larger stage, and to have the ability to access more power (electricity). 


The committee didn’t want to lose the well-known Rock on the River name or spend funds changing it. 

“The festival is not very far from the banks of Mattagami River which runs right through our community, so it is fitting this way. Changing the name would be very costly,” says Lise. 

Lise says she often hears from locals that they are excited to attend an annual festival right in their hometown and not have to travel. Those who travel to the city for the festival tell her that they always receive a warm welcome from Timmins residents. 

The Timmins Festival and Events Committee works all year on the festival, with the help of over 150 volunteers, as well as dedicated sponsors and community partners. For Lise and the committee, the feedback from the community makes it all worth it. 

“People love the calibre of talent from our lineups, and it really puts Timmins on the map.” 

For Rock on the River tickets and more information, visit