Ontario Festival of Small Halls: Lots of road trips for music fans

What do you get when you mix intimate venues in small communities with local musicians and national acts? A lot of great excuses for a road trip, I say!

The Ontario Festival of Small Halls, now entering its fourth year, has added several new venues this year. In 2017, more than 30 spaces across Eastern Ontario—including church halls, community centres and at least one restored schoolhouse—will be hosting concerts where being able to see and hear the band definitely won’t be a problem. After all, most of these venues hold a few hundred people, if that.

As a bonus, many towns hold special events before the show, such as community dinners, so you can get to know your fellow music fans.

Performers on the roster this year include Ashley MacIsaac, Jenn Grant, Great Lake Swimmers, Birds of Chicago, Rosie and the Riveters, and The Outside Track. Here are a few more to get you reaching for your car keys. (All photos courtesy of the Festival of Small Halls.)

Fred Penner

Fred Penner plays the Morton Community Hall with Barbershop Therapy on Sunday, September 17.

The Abrams

The Abrams play Stonefields in Beckwith with Sacha on Thursday, September 14; McDonald’s Corners Agricultural Hall with Ali McCormick on Friday, September 29; and the Westmeath Community Centre with Midnight Vesta on Saturday, September 30.

Les Poules à Colin

Les Poules à Colin play La Fraternité in Alexandria with Moonfruits on Saturday, September 30.

The festival runs from September 14 to October 1. One word of warning: Festival shows often sell out quickly, so don’t procrastinate if one catches your eye.

Want more tips on road trips from Ottawa—including info on hotel discounts, contests, festivals and other cool news? Subscribe to my free weekly e-newsletter! I will never spam you—promise.

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