New Festival, Site For Toronto

Toronto is getting a Bonnaroo-style festival, in addition to the Boots and Hearts country fest already announced for summer, and little wonder: it’s a collaboration between producer Republic Live and Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment, a co-founder of the Tennessee fest. But it’s also getting a major new outdoor concert site at , a 700-acre property acquired in September and expected to be a major addition to the Toronto concert marketplace. 
site of the new fest. 

Both Boots and Hearts and the yet-to-be-named music and arts festival will take place on the site. Ryan Howes, Burl’s Creek Event Ground’s VP of venue operations and business development, tells Pollstar they will soon announce a name for the music and arts festival, which will take place July 24-26.

Boots and Hearts, with Brad PaisleyFlorida Georgia LineEric Church and others, takes place at the site Aug. 6-9. Burl’s Creek Event Grounds includes two natural amphitheatre spaces that can accommodate capacities of 80,000 and 30,000. For festival purposes, there will be four stages and a capacity of 70,000, including room for 45,000 campers.

There will also be different tiers of camping, from single-car campsites to accommodations available for RVs and group camps. “The purpose of having two large concert bowls, inside of just doing festivals at the site, is that it can also host stand-alone concerts for larger acts,” Howes told Pollstar. “The Bonnaroo site is about 800 acres, so it’s comparable.” The music and arts festival will feature some of the leading artists in rock, hip hop, EDM, alternative, rock pop and R&B, also in a vein similar to Bonnaroo.

There will also be a “late night forest, original art installations, fine international and local cuisine, an on-site farmers market, and more to inspire fans to explore their own creativity while giving them a powerful, unforgettable, and eye-opening experience using music and art as a catalyst,” according to a statement. “We’ve felt so blessed to see Boots and Hearts grow in three short years to become Canada’s largest camping and country music festival, with the same aspirations for this new music and arts festival we’re excited to share more details including the name, brand and of course the line-up, in the coming weeks,” Republic Live Executive Director Shannon McNevan said.

“The dream for this whole thing began when a small group of us attended Bonnaroo in 2011 and had the best musical experience of our lives. As soon as we got home we started wondering why we didn’t have anything like it here in Canada. Seeing that come full circle to the point where Ashley and his team are now working with us to bring a truly international destination festival of that nature to Canada has been amazing,” she continued.

The new festival is part of a provincial Live Music Strategy announced in January 2014, which indicates that the live music sector generates an estimated $455 million in revenues and contributes $252 million to the Canadian economy.

“Since we started talking to Shannon and his team, their passion to create a world class music and arts camping festival has been contagious,” Capps said. “We believe that this event will become one of North America’s premier festivals and we’re excited to share what we have in store for 2015 in the coming weeks.”