A quick look at where the fun will be happening this year.
A live music experience can often be defined in part by the venue where it takes place. We’ve all probably experienced one of those memorable shows that just seemed to happen at the right place and at the right time with the artist and venue perfectly complimenting one another (Great Lake Swimmers at Wilmot United Church is a great example). There’s nothing like it. On the flip side, there’s an equal chance we’ve been there to catch a great performer playing in the wrong setting and no matter how much your told your friends “this show will blow your mind”, everyone leaves a little underwhelmed. Thankfully, Shivering Songs organizers have a real knack for spotting venues.
Part of what makes Shivering Songs such a great time is the thought and planning that goes into pairing artist and venue. With five year’s of experience now under their collective belts, the Shivering Songs team have perfected the art of artist placement while continuing to find excitement in exploring new possibilities within the city’s downtown core. Let’s have a look at this year’s venues and what makes them special.
Wilmot United Church is the centerpiece of the festival and one of the most amazing places to experience live music. Known for its high ceilings and shoe-box shape, WUC claims some of the best acoustics in the city. This year this famous city structure will host the Handmade market and Vinyl Fair, an afternoon Songwriters and Storytellers event and evening performances by Joel & Bill Plaskett, Shane Koyczan, Michael Feuerstack and other top performers. (473 King Street) www.wilmotuc.nb.ca
The Fredericton Boyce Farmer’s Market is recognized as one of Canada’s top ten community markets and the best place to find local produce, crafts and season foods year round. Open every Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market also plays host to several special events throughout the calendar year including many live music performances in the main hall. Catch the Saturday night performance with Les Hay Babies and Mo Kenney & friends or enjoy a hot breakfast to the sounds of Alan Jeffries during the festival’s annual Bluegrass Brunch. (665 George Street) www.frederictonfarmersmarket.ca
The Charlotte Street Arts Centre recently celebrated ten years as the city’s arts and culture hub. Nestled in the city’s historical neighbourhood, the CSAC is home to artist studios, dance studios, an artist-run centre, the New Brunswick Filmmakers’s Cooperative and more. If that’s not enough, downstairs you can grab an fire-baked pizza from Milda’s Pizza. Originally built in 1884 as a school, the building’s former gymnasium now plays host to several live music events. Catch performances by Andrew Sisk,The Fortunate Ones and others during this year’s festival. (732 Charlotte Street) www.charlottestreetarts.ca
The Fredericton Playhouse is widely recognized as the city’s premiere performance venue with 705 seats and not a bad seat in the house! The Fredericton Playhouse welcomes performance year round from some of the world’s top performers in music, dance, theatre and much more. This year’s festival kicks off at The Playhouse with Songs of the City, a very special evening of song and story. (686 Queen Street) www.theplayhouse.ca
When it comes to cutting edge music performances, intimate singer/songwriter events and stand-up comedy no other venue in town comes close what The Capital Complex offers on the regular. Two floors with three separate bars. This year they’ll host performances by The Burning Hell, Quiet Parade, Brookside Mall, Vogue Dots and many more. (362 Queen Street) www.thecapitalcomplex.com
Yoga Grow is a newcomer to this year’s festival. Tucked away up a narrow staircase above Savage’s Bike Shop, this beautiful room will definitely be one of the most memorable venues of the entire festival. Exposed brick, huge east-facing windows, hardwood floors…we can’t think of a better place to enjoy a performance by Marine Dreams and The Weather Station. (441 King Street, Suite 200) www.yogagrowfredericton.com
In the summer Officer’s Square hosts dozens of free outdoor concerts, the changing of the guard, a diverse mix of festivals and a lot more. It’s a beautiful park in the centre of downtown. In the winter the park becomes a skating rink (winter permitting) and at times resembles a scene straight off a Krieghoff canvas. As part of this year’s festival, the snow covered park will host a campfire performance by Fredericton’s own Tim Walker. (575 Queen Street)
Ticket Info: Tickets are moving quickly for many of this year’s Shivering Songs events. To learn what’s available, who’s playing where and to buy tickets and passes, www.shiveringsongs.com