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Barenaked Ladies to headline music festival in Point Edward

Published on

Cathy Dobson

An outdoor music festival headlined by The Barenaked Ladies is planned for Oct. 1 and 2, the first local concert weekend since the pandemic started.

Organizers of Bluewater Borderfest are presenting “OktBorderFest” in partnership with Starlight Casino in Point Edward.

The festival will be held in the casino’s parking lot and is expected to attract 2,000 to 3,000 people per night.

Saturday, Oct. 2 will bring The Barenaked Ladies, with Kim Mitchell to the stage starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at bluewaterborderfest.ca. Cost is $85 (VIP) and $65 (General Admission). Mitchell, a Sarnia native, was recently inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Friday, Oct. 1 will feature The Glorious Sons, with Born Ruffians. Tickets go on sale to the public Aug. 28. Prices have yet to been announced.

OktBorderFest still needs a liquor licence but received approval for a special occasion permit from Point Edward council this week with a 4-1 vote.

Deputy Mayor Greg Grimes was the single holdout after expressing concern about traffic jams along Venetian Boulevard that could make access difficult for emergency vehicles. Council was told parking for the event will be prohibited in the casino parking lot.

“What happens if Venetian becomes impassible?” Grimes asked OktBorderFest spokesman Brian McNair.

“I worry that the whole area will be bumper to bumper…my concern is congestion and how we’ll control it,” said Grimes.

McNair assured council that signage would be erected to stop illegal parking.

Parking issues around OktBorderFest would be the same as those related to the Bridge Bash or Mackinac, said McNair.

At Coun. Paul Burgess’ suggestion, McNair added that concertgoers will be encouraged to ride bicycles rather than drive cars.

Coun. Larry Gordon supported the event but said he’s worried about the timing and whether the community will be struggling with COVID-19.

“COVID isn’t new… and people understand the risks,” McNair replied.

He said the event will have strict masking policies and patrons will be required to socially distance. Security will be hired to enforced COVID rules.

“Everyone is getting a little tired of restrictions, so we just ask that people do their due diligence and cooperate and we can make something good out of a bad situation,” he said.

OktBorderFest is scheduled to end at 11:15 p.m. both nights.

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