When they announced this year's lineup, I was super disappointed. No big names. No Quebecois band. No one I loved. Heck, very few I even sort of liked!
In fact, I almost didn't go. It's such hard work and quite stressful, but one of my music people really wanted us to be there for her, so go I did.
And I don't regret it. Because while the music was meh, the people were awesome. I love my tarp family, and cherish the moments I get to spend with them. So much so, that despite the lineup, I'll be there for 2017 too.
But here's a Top 3 nonetheless:
1. The Year of the African Bands
I always try to see an African Band at the folk fest, but this year was their year and I had all the time for them. Friday's second session with Daby Toure, Black Umfolosi, Joel Fafard and Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar was probably the best jamming session I saw.
I took in Black Umfolosi's concert and it was as joyful as ever. Here's a quick video I shot of my favourite song of theirs.
And the last small stage concert of the weekend, Jah Prayzah and the 3rd Generation Band, had my tarp family up like dancing fools and it was a fun time to share together.
Next year, I'll make an extra point to check out the African groups!
2. Sometimes I surprise even myself, but I really enjoyed The Cat Empire's afternoon main stage concert. I'd definitely see them again.
3. Besides Friday's jammy session, the second best session I was was on Sunday and included Martyn Carthy, Matt Molloy and John Carty with Arty McGlynn, Dervish and the Kruger Brothers. It was a celtic jammy master class and very enjoyable. I had forgotten how funny Cathy Jordan ("Cathy Dervish") is.
The Step Crew was a little showy (they remind me of Barrage), but put on a good side stage concert.
No super stand outs, besides the African contingent, but another year of perfect weather spent with perfect people with a perfect view of the hill.