Evenko Announces Inaugural ‘Lasso’ Montreal Country Fest For 2020

– Lasso

Independent Canadian promoter Evenko has announced a new country music festival to take place Aug. 15-16, 2020, at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, the same location as the major Osheaga Festival.

While the lineup hasn’t been booked yet, Evenko’s Nick Farkas told Pollstar the demand is there for a major country event in Montreal, with a recent sellout from Luke Bryan at the Bell Centre and artists loving the reception of the enthusiastic crowds and a major destination 
“We just had just had Thomas Rhett for first time, Live Nation brought him through, and on stage he was so moved by the crowd he said I can’t believe I’ve never played here before, saying how cool and how much fun it was,” Farkas told Pollstar. “That’s what we want the artists to know about playing play Montreal. There’s something about the crowds here, people just lose their shit.”
The Lasso announcement promises a mix of international superstars and local luminaries from the Canadian, Quebec, and Montreal country scenes. 
“For a long time Montreal has been a market that country has historically skipped, other than the Garth Brookses and Shania Twains and Dixie Chicks, acts that they cross over,” Farkas said. “But looking at the numbers, on the streaming front, there’s a lot of fans here.”
There’s also the ability to grow organically, with the site home to events including heavy Montreal, Ilesoniq and ’77 Montreal, with Farkas noting making us of the “Stagecoach” model using the same site and much of the festival infrastructure for multiple events. 
“Really the model has been to find a niche for a festival that would share the site with, and basically what we’ve learned with the festival business is it costs a fortune to build a festival city, so once you got it up it’s a lot cheaper to modify it.” 
The site is an impressive one, with recently renovated stage areas and the space on an island surrounded by the St. Lawrence river, easily accessibly by subway. “It’s an urban festival that feels like a non-urban setting,” Farkas says. 
While more details are forthcoming, Farkas says to expect some distinctly Canadian flavor, such as on Osheaga’s lineup, which boasts Canadian hero Dallas Green’s City and Colour near the top of the bill alongside contemporary headliners like Tame Impala, Childish Gambino and The Lumineers.
“We want to have local Canadian, Quebec artists as well as the big international and American artists, contemporary as well as underground,” Farkas says of the inaugural Lasso, which will have three stages. “We want to to be a country festival but to have a Montrealness, too.”