A guide to Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival for students
The smell of carnival doughnuts, the sight of dozens of buskers and the sound of lively banjos and perussion signals the return of the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival to downtown Fredericton.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 10 and running until Saturday night, there will be 150 performances throughout the week.
Harvest Central’s store manager Mitch Rayner said for students, Harvest allows students to have fun before school ramps up.
“It’s a great way for new students to explore the town and for returning students to just kind of get back in the groove of being in the city.”
Still, all the music choices can be overwhelming. Students especially may have to consider prices before choosing what shows they want to see.
This year, prices range from $10 for the Thursday Afterburner featuring Mothership All-Stars to $400 for the Harvest Insider Passes. There are also dozens of free shows. Rayner said Harvest offers a range of options for students on a low budget.
The pass to rule them all
This year, the Big Fun Pass allows students to gain access to the Barracks tent Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for only $46 including tax as long as you show your student ID. It also grants you access to the afterburner shows at the festival.
With this pass, students can see many of Rayner’s recommended shows. His top pick is Andy Frasco and the U.N., a feel-good-jam-band that blends soul, blues, jazz and rock Saturday night at 11 p.m. Students can also see Moon Hooch and Mothership on Friday with the pass.
“For students I think [the Big Fun Pass] is the best option because you’re getting something every single day,” said Rayner.
The bands you want to see
If students don’t want to buy a pass, Rayner recommends the Trans-Canada Highwaymen who are performing Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the TD Mojo Tent. The band is composed of members and former members from four different Canadian bands, The Pursuit of Happiness, Sloan, Odds and Barenaked Ladies. They’ll be collaborating and playing each others songs on stage.
Rayner said it’s a “super group.”
“It’s going to be a fantastic vibe. [Trans-Canada Highwaymen have] a lot of dancing music.”
If you don’t want to spend any money at Harvest, there will be music buskers and stunt buskers lining the streets.
There are free stages outside of City Hall, at the Daily Gleaner Officers’ Square stage and all along Queen Street, in addition to food trucks, according to the festival’s website.
“There’s a lot of variety and it’s located all down Queen Street,” said Rayner.
Buses will also be free from 6 to 11 p.m. and Fredericton Transit will offer free shuttle services to north and south Fredericton until 3 a.m.
Rayner said it’s an event you don’t want to miss.
“It’s a uniquely Fredericton event. It feels unique to here and New Brunswick.”