Wednesday, 26 June 2013 16:19

Another fantastic festival weekend for Windscape and Long Day's Night

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With mostly clear skies and great winds, the weather was perfect for last weekend's 9th Annual Windscape Kite Festival. On June 22 and 23, the skies above Swift Current were filled with an incredible array of kites varying from enormous inflatable kites to study and fast sport kites.


“Everything went really great this year, we had lots of crowds and people all seemed really happy when they left,” noted festival organizer Shann Gowan. “Overall, I'm thrilled with how the event worked out and how smoothly everything went, it really made for a fantastic weekend.”


Although Gowan didn't reach her projected audience of 10,000 people, she was pleased to see over 6,000 people come out for this year's festival. More than half of the audience comes from out of town, and she expects that the flooding in Alberta impacted her numbers.


“That definitely hurt us a bit, we even had a performer who was unable to make it here,” she admitted. “But the people who did come out all had a really great time. Many of the flyers said that this is the best festival they've ever attended in Canada, and are comparing it to Long Beach, which is the best kite festival in the US. So that's very exciting.”


The brand new Kiwanis juggling tent was a great addition to the festival this year, which Gowan noted was extremely popular and well-received. Juno award-winning children's performer Al Simmons stepped in at the last minute to take over for Gustavo the Impossiblist, who was stranded in Calgary, and put on a fantastic show for families and kids of all ages.


“We also had some of the best sport kite flyers ever here this year, those award-winning flyers were really something to see,” added Gowan. “I think overall we had a really fantastic mix – the ground displays were beautiful, and we had some really stunning kites in the air that we've never seen before. It was a well-rounded set of artists this year, and I think we are going to get another great mix for next year.”


Next year will be Windscape Kite Festival's 10th Anniversary, and Gowan is planning to bring in a team of stunt flyers from the UK to help make the festival even bigger and better than ever. The festival would not be possible without the 350+ dedicated volunteers, staff members, and sponsors who all contribute to ensure the event's success.


“It was especially nice to finish off the weekend with a great concert at the casino, to give the staff a bit of a break before we got back to work on Monday,” Gowan added. “Long Day's Night was absolutely fantastic this year, we had some wonderful acts and Serena Ryder was a truly amazing concert experience. I think everyone was pleased with the diversity that the festival offered, so that went over really well.”


This year's Long Day's Night Music Festival featured performances by Taj Weekes & Adowa, Old Man Markley, Hollerado, and Serena Ryder, as well as opening acts by Saskatchewan bands Descalso and Young Benjamin's, and even Swift Current's own Over the Air.


Gowan is currently working on putting together the lineup for the upcoming Blenders season, which will kick off in September.


“I'm about two thirds of the way through planning Blenders for 2013-2014, and I have some unbelievable groups coming,” she noted. “I'm absolutely thrilled with who I have already booked, and I'm working on getting some more really stellar acts. I'm confident that next year's season will be beautiful.”

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Jessi Gowan


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