Could Mississauga Host a Massive Music Festival?
If you read any "you know you're 25 when..." list on Buzzfeed (or maybe even Vice), you learn two things:
1) You're too old to stay up past 10 and your joints are stiff every morning
2) Music festivals stop being fun once you're a day older than Kylie Jenner (or is it Kendall? Are they twins? I'm out of touch with this aspect of pop culture).
Any list that even jokingly declares you too old for anything at 20 or 30-something (or 40 or 50-something) is preposterous and should be ignored. If your joints hurt in the morning, it's probably from a life spent sitting at a computer rather than "age" (you're 25, Jesus Christ). Despite what people say, you're never too old for a music festival and music festivals are great not only for people looking to spend a memorable and zoned-out weekend with friends, but for the cities that host them.
In terms of festivals, Mississauga has a lot of them -- including musical ones. The largest festival is probably the annual South Side Shuffle and it's absolutely fantastic for Port Credit and the city in general. Since we know the city has taken to multi-day musical events, it's safe to assume people might want a few more and possibly a destination, big-name and more youth-oriented celebration on par with Montreal's Osheaga or Delaware's Firefly.
Where would we put it, you ask?
That's a good question.
Osheaga takes up residence at Parc Jean-Drapeau, a vast and historical area that provides more than enough space for several stages, numerous vendors and hordes of modern hippie revelers. At this juncture, Mississauga can't offer that kind of space and, if you think about the proximity of Toronto Island, it doesn't necessarily need to.
Then you think about Toronto Island's horrific ferry system and you reconsider.
There's honestly nothing worse than waiting three hours for a ferry in the dead of night, covered in mud and packed between anxious, frustrated concert goers who needed to be home sleeping off their buzzes four hours ago.
While Sauga can really only host slightly more modest affairs (and that's not to say quaint or small) at the moment, the upcoming, long-term revitalization of the Lakeview Waterfront Pier (part of the overall Inspiration Lakeview masterplan) might carve out a destination music festival and general outdoor recreational space that could, if utilized correctly, drive incredible traffic to the city.
The yet-to-be reinvigorated Western Pier area locked down $450,000 in provincial funding earlier this year and the Inspiration Lakeview plan aims to create six waterfront neighbourhoods with residential, commercial and recreational and cultural areas. There are still structural and environmental studies to be undertaken, but the wheels are in motion (though it's hard to say how long they'll spin until the project is complete).
A big name, big ticket festival could attract not just local music fans, but international ones. People might actually travel to Mississauga for a festival, benefiting the city's reputation and local business owners.
Although it's far in the future, perhaps the changing Lakeview lands could be perfect for a landmark celebration that's all our own.
In the meantime, smaller festivals might continue to grow while other, smaller ones continue to take shape across the city.
But what do you think? Do you think Mississauga could become a hit music festival destination? Do you want it to?
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