The Sound of Music wrapped up another successful year Sunday. This year included performances from Weezer, Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven and Dear Rouge. It even included an appearance by the 2015 Pan Am games torch.
The festivities kicked last weekend with a great lineup. That event was ticketed; it was the first time that Sound of Music organizers had held an event that wasn’t free. When this writer first heard the news it came as a surprise. Burlington’s headline festival has always been a free event that brings people from far and wide for the free weekend. So why change it up?
The answer is simple: they want to make it better. To keep the festival free they rely on the generous donations of sponsors like TD, Burlington Hyundai and Cogeco. Let’s not forget that the festival has received a number of awards from the International Festivals and Events Association (IEFA). Their most prestigious is the Grand Pinnacle Award which they received in 2012. That award is judged in 4 budget categories worldwide.
Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival has grown from it’s a salute to Burlington’s Teen Tour Band to fill Spencer Smith Park and much of Downton Burlington. There are now more than 100 acts across 10 stages; bringing in over 200,000 visitors per year. That number is only for the free weekend! That doesn’t include the attendance for the ticketed event or the Sound of Music Club Series which was also added this year.
The festival is volunteer driven. There are more than 800 volunteers who devoted their time to helping the organizers bring together the event. This is all part of the community driven nature of the event. The other side are the community partnerships formed by the tourism generated from the festival. Last year, the festival generated more than 8 million is tourism. This year with the ticketed event and the club series I’m sure that number is even higher!
Burlington is once again the number 1 mid – sized city in Canada to live in, and I’m sure this festival plays a big part in that! Next year I encourage you to come out and attend or even volunteer! The Sound of Music was ranked in the top 10 music festivals in Ontario by blogTO.
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