Paddlefest gets summer festival season underway

Category: community 48

Through bouts of biblical wind, heavy rain, and blistering sunshine, Paddlefest 2023 offered a welcomed return to form for summer music festival fans.

Qwinn in performance Friday night at Paddlefest.
Matt Carter

Batten down the hatches. Dress in layers. Be prepared for all possible scenarios. Sound advice for anyone heading out on a trans-Atlantic voyage, or those who chose to begin their 2023 Paddlefest experience on an island in Passamaquoddy Bay last Friday night. 

OK. Friday was technically Day Two. But for many of the hundreds of out-of-towners who had just arrived in St. Andrews from all points elsewhere, Owen Steel’s 5 p.m. performance on Ministers Island was their first outdoor performance experience of the year. 

“This is like the unfinished symphony,” said one audience member as Steel shared several songs he claimed to be incomplete, yet somehow filled the space perfectly leaving all in attendance satisfied and eager to see what the weekend would bring next. 

Through bouts of biblical wind, heavy rain, and sun, at times so hot you completely forgot about the tent almost blowing down during Steels’s show, Paddlefest 2023 was a welcomed return to form for festival fans with unforgettable sets by Doctor Mother Father, Daniel Romano’s Outfit, Weak Size Fish, Mike Trask, Keith Hallet and so many others. The list of performers – each in top form – was long and varied and most appreciated. 

Thanks to the volunteers, the organizers, and the community for making it happen. Summer (though still a month away) feels officially underway. 

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