Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is the city’s largest annual outdoor event. It completely takes over the downtown district and makes Fredericton feel like a bustling metropolis for one week each year. It also brings in dozens of world class acts, reaching far beyond the confines of jazz or blues. Part of what makes Harvest so special is the wide range of affordable programming it presents. You don’t have to pay through the nose to enjoy some of the best acts. In some cases, you don’t have to pay at all.
In case your pocketbook has suggested you stay at home and wait for the smoke to clear, we’ve put together five ways to enjoy Harvest without breaking the bank. After all, Harvest is for everyone (including you!).
One of the most exciting aspects of the Harvest experience involves the street closures. Queen Street takes on a carnival atmosphere with busking musicians, street performers, demonstrations and vendors of all kinds. The festival’s energy is easily felt by simply walking down Queen Street in the evening and taking in all there is to see. Street entertainment – totally free and totally inspiring.
The many food vendors that flock to the city to set up shop along Queen Street help to shape the carnival feel that exists downtown during Harvest. If you’re a fan of street food or treat food, you’ll find a world of culinary surprises stretching from Officer’s Square to City Hall. Grab a cheap meal, pull up a curb and watch the activity. Food Vendors – super fun and super cheap.
While you could easily pay up to $70 to experience some of this year’s headlining acts, there are also several options that cost absolutely nothing. That’s right – totally free! Check out great acts at Wednesday night’s Free Festival Kick–Off, Friday’s Stringray Rising Star Showcase, and a ton of musicians performing across five separate FreeHarvest stages throughout the week. Basically, you’d have to invest a lot of time and money to avoid enjoying all the free performances. Free Shows – you have no excuse.
Pubs & Clubs
Nearly a dozen downtown establishments welcome live performers during Harvest Week. From the Lunar Rogue to the Delta Hotel, you can catch funk, jazz, soul, rock, fusion…whatever turns your crank. Enjoy a meal and a beverage to the sounds of live music.
It would be simply impossible for any Harvest-sized event to exist without the help of hundreds and hundreds of volunteers. Whether they’re serving beverages, collecting recycling, offering guidance to visitors or helping to deliver the dozens of unseen services that go on behind the scenes at an event this size, Harvest is fuelled by the help of hard working volunteers. So why not volunteer? You’ll be rewarded with new friends, an amazing sense of accomplishment and of course, a kick-ass live show. More info on volunteering is available here.