When I saw the line up of the Black Forest stage of Beau’s Oktoberfest, I decided it was time for me to finally go to that fest. I have to say that I was very impressed by the organization from the start. I spent some time reading all the information on their Website and my expectations were really high. I knew I was in for great beer, great food and great music.
I wasn’t able to make it on Friday night, but I made sure not to miss a single band on Saturday. So we arrived early and decided to use the parking lot at Herb’s Travel Plaza along Highway 417 and the shuttle service to the festival site since it was free. We were welcomed by smiling people who helped us park the car and gave us clear indications on how to use the shuttle. Right in the parking lot I knew already that the organization was one of the best I’ve ever seen. So we took the bus to the fest. And I have to mention that Beau’s also organizes bus shuttles from Montreal, Cornwall and Ottawa, the three closest big cities. Two thumbs up for that initiative!
So we arrived at the festival site, picked up our media pass and went around the site to see what it looked like. It was a beautiful sunny and hot day and there were already a lot of people on the site. I quickly noticed how well organized the staff was. There was even staff for the garbage! Because Beau’s Oktoberfest is definitely the greenest and most ecofriendly fest I’ve ever seen. All the food is served in reusable dishes and the staff makes sure you put them at the right place when you’re done eating. What a great improvement from all the fests where you see trash and empty plastic glasses all over the place! Other fests should use them as an example for the future.
Talking about food… I had taken the time to read the food section on the Website and I knew that Beau’s Oktoberfest had won the Ontario Tourism Award of Excellence for the culinary tourism event of the year in 2016. As a foodie, I was super excited to try different things. But as a diabetic, I had to restrain myself and, to be honest, it was really hard. Everything looked delicious! And from what I tasted, it really was.
Ok, let’s go back to the reason why I was there: punk rock music. I really appreciated the fact that the Black Forest stage was set back from the rest of the festival. It was like the punk rock family had its own spot, and its own bar, and I thought it was very cool. There was also a half pipe with skaters being active all day and some of them were really impressive. I had the chance to see many great tricks during the day and it just added more fun to the whole event.
So the first band I saw was The Readys, from Newmarket, ON. They were so energetic on stage that I couldn’t have asked for a better start for my day. Even if the crowd wasn’t really there because of the early time, they gave a great show. Next were Bussieres, one of the main reasons why I was at the festival and one of my favorite Quebec bands. Despite the fact that the official singer left, they never disappoint. It was a pleasure to sing along with them.
I’m not a big fan of 80’s metal but I have to say that Thunderkök, who played next, know how to put on a great show and entertain the audience. They had me smiling and headbanging while I was watching the skateboarders and drinking beer. By the way, if you’ve never tasted Beau’s beer, I highly recommend. Their new white IPA « Wag the Wolf » is now a favorite of mine!
After being kicked out of the festival by a tornado last year, my favorite Ottawa band, Jon Creeden and The Flying Hellfish, finally had a chance to play. As always, they were amazing. They were followed by Fairmounts and Audio Visceral that I didn’t really know before seeing them, but both bands put on a great show and make me want to listen to more of their songs.
Lost Love and The Penske File… two bands that toured together a couple of times and whose members know each other very well. That’s probably why I always associate those two bands. It was great to be able to see them one after an other on the Black Forest stage and to see them interact between the sets. A bunch of very talented and funny guys for sure!
The Peelers who were next attracted a big part of « the other crowd ». As soon as they started playing their Irish music with violins and flutes, a lot of people came to the Black Forest stage to enjoy the show. It was quite amazing to see so many people of different ages clapping hands and dancing without even knowing they were listening to punk rock music. That band definitely knows how to fire the crowd up!
And finally, the band I was the most excited to see at Beau’s Oktoberfest: Mobina Galore. Those two ladies are just amazing. They consist of guitar and drums only, but they sound so complete together that I wouldn’t want to add anything to the band. They played a bunch of songs from their last record, Don’t Worry, that is definitely going to be in my top 5 of the year and they were great! I couldn’t have asked for a better set to end my day.
I could go on for hours about how amazing the festival was, but I’ll just tell you that if you’re a fan of good beer, a foodie and a punk rocker, you absolutely have to add this fest to your to-do-list next year. I just have good things to say about the day I spent there and I already can’t wait for the next edition. Thank you Beau’s Oktoberfest for being so awesome and see you next year!