Something Remarkable Just Happened.

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A look back at Shivering Songs 2016

Matt Carter | @m_j_c73

IMG_3475The little-folk-festival-that-could is all grown up.  With the sixth edition of Shivering Songs now just a memory, organizers of the popular mid-winter music festival seem to have hit their stride this year more than ever, redefining our expectations of what a festival can be.  It’s much more than just a chance to enjoy some great live music.  It’s a chance to enjoy something together – as a community.

It’s no secret that time and place have a lot to do with what makes each Shivering Songs such a unique experience.  It’s post-Christmas and post-New Years and smack-dab in the middle of what is usually some pretty chilly weather.  It’s a reason to leave the house and an excuse to stay up late.  And it provides the charge our collective batteries need in order to carry us through what remains of the cold season.  It’s much needed inspiration.

This year’s festival had an energy all its own. It came in the form of friendly hugs, high fives and tears of joy and laughter, in late night shuffles from venue to venue, and in the unanimous sense of comfort and gratitude felt when arriving at a venue stuffed with familiar faces – some who were friends and many who were strangers, yet for whatever reason didn’t seem so ‘strange’ or distant just then.  Throughout the entire weekend there was a definite sense of comradery in knowing ‘we’re in this together’ and that this is something special.

I can’t remember a single festival experience where I’ve been moved to tears one minute and then laughing until my sides hurt the next.  And to share that experience with a few hundred others is something truly beyond words.

I’m not trying to downplay the music. Not one bit. There were some outstanding performances, each delivered through an incredible sense of honesty.  No one ‘just dialed it in’.  Whether it was Andrew Sisk revisiting a few old songs, Michael Feuerstack performing some new songs live for the first time, spoken-word performer Shane Koyczan sharing stories of a deeply personal nature or perhaps The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman battling her way through a seasonal cold yet still managing to somehow deliver one of the most powerful performances of the entire weekend – it was all a very grounding experience.

Congrats and thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s festival happen. It’s a precious gift and we’re all grateful.

There really is nothing else quite like Shivering Songs.

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