Cicada Music and Arts fest hits Henley Island in St. Catharines this weekend


Published September 27, 2023 at 2:17 pm

july talk
Popular Canadian bands July Talk, shown here, and The Sheepdogs will be the big closers during the two-day Cicada Music and Arts Festival on Henley Island in St. Catharines this weekend

Canadian music stars July Talk and The Sheepdogs will be the headliners when the Cicada Music and Arts Festival returns to Henley Island in Port Dalhousie this weekend on Sept. 30 and August 1.

Just as it did last year for the first time, the two-day festival will feature three stages, each showing performances of different musical acts. The third stage is specifically aimed at families as it will feature only acoustic acts and kid-friendly performers.

A variety of local craft breweries, wineries, food vendors, and craft tables will be featured, as well as live art installations.

The festival began in the early-2000s when resident Thom Lepp, who passed away from cancer in 2017, held it in his backyard, inviting all his neighbours to join in the fun.

His sons, Malcolm and Evan, as well as their friend Ben Goerzen, took over the festival in 2018, the summer after Lepp passed away.

As mentioned, there are three stages so visitors can wander from area to area, checking them out. The largest with the biggest acts is Martindale Stage while the Henley Stage is aimed at providing space for a larger number of Niagara performers.

Finally, the Thom’s Backyard Stage, a nod to the originator, is the family-friendly stage.

The schedule, which staggers the starting times on each stage so that music is always playing, is as follows:

On Saturday, Sept. 30, the Martindale Stage plays host to the bands: Years of the Modern (1 p.m.), Flwr Grl (2 p.m.), Ombiigizi (3:30 p.m.), Shad (5 p.m.), Tim Baker (6:30 p.m.), Sloan (8 p.m.) and then headliners July Talk (9:45 p.m.)

The Henley Stage will see: Feverish Lemons (1:30 pm), Cat Clyde (2:45 p.m.), Field Guide (4:15 p.m.), Julianna Riolino (5:45 p.m.), Cuff The Duke (7:15 p.m.) and Wild Rivers closing out the stage (9 p.m.)

Thom’s Backyard Stage will see three acts: Dom Louis (2:45 p.m.), Olive B (4:15 p.m.) and Minuscule (5:45 p.m.)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, they’ll kick it off all over again on the Martindale Stage with Gravely (1:30 p.m.), Jame Blonde (2:30 p.m.), Crown Lands (4 p.m.) Yukon Blonde (5:30 p.m.) JJ Wilde (7 p.m.) and headliners The Sheepdogs (8:45 p.m.)

The Henley Stage will see: Real Kevin (1 pm), Evan Redsky (2 p.m.), Sleepy Jean (3:15 p.m.), Cam Kahin (4:45 p.m.), The Dirty Nil (6:15 p.m.) and Daniel Romano closing out the stage (8 p.m.)

Thom’s Backyard Stage will again see three acts: Jeff Beadle (2 p.m.), Drftr (3:15 p.m.) and Carson McHone (4:45 p.m.)

To give you a taste of the upcoming weekend, here’s The Sheepdogs with their first major hit, I Don’t Know.

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