Orillia-Based Mariposa Folk Fest Returns for Best Line Up Yet 

By Jaina Kelly

Every July, several thousand folk music enthusiasts travel to the beautiful, tree-lined streets of Orillia, Ontario to take part in a three-day music and camping festival at TudHope Park. The festival has been active since the 60’s when hordes of noisy hippies got the music fest banned from Orillia territory for some time. Thank goodness they eventually convinced whoever necessary to bring it back, because having a hippie inspired music festival in your backyard is preferable. This year, Mariposa has made some seriously good decisions with the direction of their musical line up.

One of the most exciting announcements include Land of Talk, who was nominated for Alternative Album of the Year for “Life After Youth” at the 2018 Juno Awards. Also known as Lizzie Powell, Land of Talk boasts triple threat powerhouse vocals, songwriting, and technical guitar skills that make her enchanting to see live. Her album, “Life After Youth” is a heartfelt return to music, awaited eagerly by her dedicated fan base, who has followed her loyally for over a decade of her music career. Lizzie is signed to Saddle Creek records, a label based in Omaha, Nebraska, who you might recognize as also being the label to indie sensations Bright Eyes, Big Thief and Azure Ray. Not only just an incredible musician, Lizzie is also currently a local Orillia resident, probably Orillia’s coolest resident to date, besides Stephen Leacock or that Gordon Lightfoot guy who has about five million statues dedicated to him in this town (like, okay we get it!).

An internet-famous-five-piece group called Walk Off The Earth will also be performing at this year’s festival. They are sure to bring in enthusiastic crowds familiar with their online covers from YouTube, like their rendition of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”, which ended up gaining over 35 million views in a matter of weeks.

If that’s not to your preference, you might be excited to know that renowned Indigenous artist Buffy Sainte-Marie will also be featured at this year’s festival. Buffy is known as a “musical innovator and social activist” who has been internationally acclaimed since her song “Universal Soldier” from1964. Her album from 1969, “Illuminations”, was the first quadraphonic electronic vocal album ever recorded. Decades since, she continues to produce music including her latest album “Medicine Songs”, connecting themes such as environmental collapse, conflict, Indigenous struggles, and greed.

If you’re still not convinced, how about Canadian crooner Bahamas? He’ll also be taking a spot at this year’s festival, performing tracks off his new album “Earthtones”, a perfect fit for anybody who wants feel-good indie rock in their life. And finally, Great Big Sea’s lead singer Alan Doyle might be another sound encouragement to attend this year’s event. The Newfoundland-based singer and songwriter is a favourite of the older generation. What a better way to make your parents happy than to get them two tickets to Mariposa? Coming in at only $125 for a three-day adult weekend pass, it’ll be worth it this year.