By Valerie Posthumus
The Haldimand Press
HAGERSVILLE—After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, Grant Kett Memorial Park was booming July 23, 2022 thanks to the ever-so-popular Hagersville Rocks Music Festival.
The festival saw over 2,000 people attend. Rob Phillips, Festival Committee Member, said, “The event went very well. The weather was great, the all-Canadian lineup was fantastic, and all of those in attendance had a great time.”
Phillips noted that, like many, they struggled to find volunteers, but that ultimately their volunteers “did a tremendous job making this an event and a venue that Hagersville can be proud of.”
During the afternoon, musicians such as Fiddlestix, Nicole Ray, and Kalsey Kulyk graced the main stage to entertain the continually growing crowd. New this year was an Emerging Artist Stage, which saw performances from James Wilson, Samantha Ava, Jess & Tay, and Adam Cousins.
“This gave us an opportunity to showcase four additional artists as they develop their craft and build their careers. Hagersville Rocks is always so proud of the future accomplishments of (festival artists),” said Phillips. “We know that making it possible for these artists to perform and interact with the other artists … was a mutually great experience. And every year we have artists, agents, and promotors who are in true awe of the spectacular venue and this natural amphitheatre setting.”
As evening set in, Emily Reid engaged the crowd with powerful original songs in her self-described “bold, energetic and indie-fun-cool” style inspired by the likes of The Chicks, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and more. She performed many original songs and covers.
Dan Davidson is a Canadian country singer and songwriter and formerly the lead singer of the rock group Tupelo Honey. When he took to the main stage, there was no doubt that this dynamic and engaging entertainer drew the crowd in, even being bold enough to cover Shania Twain’s “Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under” and having the crowd sing along.
Headliner of the evening Aaron Prichett rocked the stage and closed the show with the crowd on their feet and singing along. An obvious favourite was “Hold My Beer.” Prichett also sang a romantic original song called “When a Mamma’s Boy Meets a Daddy’s Girl.” The audience called for an encore and he didn’t disappoint, coming back out to do a mash up of popular songs.
Phillips asked those interested in attending Hagersville Rocks in the future to stay tuned as the committee “needs time to reflect on the 2022 event” before making announcements about what to expect next year. Those interested can check out hagersvillerocks.com for future events, which support the main festival, including The Mudmen on October 1 in Hamilton and December 2 in Jarvis, along with the Coronation Street Tour on October 16 in Hamilton.