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Lasso Festival | A promising first edition

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“Are there people who like the countryside here? Immediately acclaimed, these words were spoken on stage by singer Matt Lang, Saturday afternoon at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The Montreal metropolis’ enthusiasm for its first 100% country festival, Lasso, couldn’t be better described.

Posted at 7:00 am yesterday

William Theriault

William Theriault
special cooperation

In all, on Friday and Saturday, 35,000 festivalgoers came to watch the performances of some thirty Quebec, Canadian and American country artists. Cowboy hats, jeans and checkered shirts as far as the eye could see … there was a bit of the southern United States on Montreal soil.


PHOTO SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT, THE PRESS

Crowds on the first day of the Lasso festival, Saturday, at the Parc Jean-Drapeau.

For evenko vice president of programming Nick Farkas, who also oversees Osheaga and îleSoniq, this first edition of Lasso is a step in the right direction. He is particularly pleased that the visitors were able to enjoy the music collectively, as a “large group”.

“I have often heard people say at the end of the week: good vibrationsvery municipal, he described a The print Saturday. We really feel that there is the spirit of the community of the country. ”


PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

The crowd took advantage of the festive atmosphere to dance in line.

The crowd, 80 percent Quebecer and 20 percent tourists, according to the organization’s estimates, was quite diverse. Festivals are usually attended mainly by young people in their twenties. This was the case with Lasso, but the 1940s and 1950s did not hesitate to point the tip of the nose and start some line dance sessions.

And the crowd the most polite I’ve ever seen in my life. Everyone smiles respectfully. It really is the fun.

Nick Farkas, evenko’s vice president of programming

The Lasso team also insisted on the familiar aspect: children under 10 could enter the site for free and an area suited to their interests was set up near the restaurants.

Festival goers who weren’t left to be desired

Luke Bryan was warmly welcomed at the close of the festival on Saturday night. The country music star performed on stage with intensity. Half smiling, half focused, he was more in the bubble than her at the start of her performance, but gradually got animated by the chaining in particular Sunrise, sunburn, sunset or Hunt, fish and love every day.


PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

Luke Bryan

Known since the 2010s, he used his bank of classics to please Montreal. The 46-year-old singer even indulged in a tall drink while he performed on a more recent song, A daisy.

With her hair in the wind, Kelsea Ballerini arrived strong and confident on Saturday night, during the penultimate slot. Armed with a solid voice with pop accents, the 28-year-old American paid tribute to her native Tennessee with half of my hometown, he inhabited the scene with conviction and declared his love for the metropolis. “This is my first time in Montreal, she exclaimed in front of the festival attendees. I’d love to move here if you take me! ”


PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

Kelsea Ballerini

Ontario duo The Reklaws, consisting of Stuart Walker and his sister Jenna, were particularly notable for their crowd interaction early Saturday night. A young man wearing a uniform of Nick Suzuki of the Montreal Canadiens was even invited to pick up a shoot with the band and … Suzuki himself.


PHOTO CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

Ontario duo The Reklaws

Quebecer Matt Lang, spokesman for the festival, kicked off the second day with an energetic half hour on the Lasso stage. He interacted with visitors on several occasions.

It is important for us to respect the history of the country in Quebec. We know how important it was in the region.

Nick Farkas, evenko’s vice president of programming

“Quebec is a market that hasn’t really been served by the huge Nashville artists, advances Nick Farkas, but it still has its community that has existed in Saint-Tite for 30-40 years. ”

Calmer, Riley Green moved the crowd I wish grandparents never died and made him dance while he played There was this girl, his most famous song. The Alabama native also earned points by wearing an Expos jersey at the end of the number.

Dierks Bentley, who started his career about 20 years ago, appeared as the headliner on Friday. Perform some of the most popular songs of him, like What was I thinking Where is it Human Torchthe American relied primarily on collaborations: Tenille Townes and Ashley McBryde, who had previously performed, each made one appearance.


PHOTO SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT, THE PRESS

Old domain

However, it was Old Dominion who stole the show on Friday. With more than palpable complicity, the Nashville-based group demonstrated on stage why they have won many awards. With Matthew Ramsay and his four partners, the crowd sang beautiful songs like make it sweet, Written In The Sand or Musical group consisting of only one member. She also visibly enjoyed herself on lighter tracks like Hotel keys, Snapback Where is it I was on a boat that day.

During the early afternoon, festival attendees were treated to a mix of musical styles, courtesy of Blanco Brown. By effectively marrying country with hip-hop, the New Yorker created a unique sound: his song The GitUp is the best example. And it is without forgetting that he offered roses to the spectators to the sound of I need love.

Most of the shows took place on one of the two main stages, side by side. But a little further on, the more intimate scene of the Ranch offered beautiful discoveries. American Alexandra Kay deserved to be seen. Note that Quebecers Sara Dufour and Léa Jarry also performed there.

A long-awaited meeting

The first edition of the Lasso festival has been in preparation since 2019. It was initially supposed to take place in 2020, before being postponed twice. Old Dominion, the second headliner on Friday, had already agreed to perform there three years ago.

We said to ourselves: “Will we eventually have our festival?” It was so important to our team, so we’re super excited. It was difficult to motivate the team, the fan also, as well.

Nick Farkas, evenko’s vice president of programming

The vice president’s sense of satisfaction was amplified by the “totally positive” comments of the guest artists.

And now, what’s the next step? “The first year of a festival is an investment,” she points out. In three to four years, we would like to have 25,000 to 30,000 people on the site per day. “

“Next year it will be even easier to book artists, because now the word is spreading. “

The second edition of Lasso is scheduled for 18 and 19 August 2023.

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