Harlequin, Bombargo among Chester Fest guests

Bombargo lead singer Nathan Thoen performs at Rock Trout Cafe. Herald file photo.

Classic Canadian rockers Harlequin and up-and-comers Bombargo are among the acts announced this week as part of the inaugural Chester Fest Couch and Music Festival.

The inaugural festival, set to be held at Par Place this July, is bringing together local, Saskatchewan and touring acts for a unique experience just outside of the city.

Today, festival organizers Joel Rohs and Kayanna Wirtz announced the majority of the lineup.

Harlequin, known for songs such as ‘Thinking of you,’ was announced Monday as the headliner for Saturday’s show.

“It’s a little surreal. I’ve been a huge Harlequin fan since I was a little kid,” Rohs said.

“For me, it’s exciting, because I love Harlequin and I love the tunes.”

Dead South was already announced as the headliners of the first night of the festival

Some local singer-songwriter acts will still be added, but for the most part, the two-day festival is set.

Today, organizers unveiled the rest of the lineup, which features a variety of acts representing different music styles.

That was the intent, Rohs and Wirtz said, as they didn’t want to become just a country festival or a rock festival.

“It’s a very good mix, some local performers, lots of Saskatchewan performers, and then some touring and bigger acts as well,” Rohs said.

The hope is that for local acts, appearing in the same concert as major names such as Bombargo, the Dead South and Harlequin will encourage them to keep playing.

It also serves as great exposure.

“People coming to see Harlequin will realize, hey, there is some awesome talent here in town,” Wirtz said.

“They’re here for that other band, but they’ll catch something local.”

The full lineup includes:

  • Roots/folk/country duo Jay & Jo,
  • grunge/surf trio the Garrys, 
  • Folk band Gunner & Smith,
  • Saskatoon Indie/Rock band Close Talker,
  • Folk singer Ellen Froese,
  • Prince Albert country/blues singer-songwriter Wade Fehr,
  • Local Indie-songwriter Matt Remenda,
  • Local Indie-punk band Rymestone
  • Rock artist Matt Blais,
  • Latin group Andino Suns,
  • Folk trio Rosie & The Riveters
  • Blues band Cold Shott,
  • Funk/Rock band Great Fuss
  • Gutter pop/ trash rock/ psycho psych band the Sex Geckos,
  • Indie Rockers Bombargo
  • Folk singer Madeleine Roger,
  • Indie-folk artist Logan McKillop and
  • Alternative country singer Kieran West.

The festival will feature two days of music, including a main and an after-hours stage, all in a field of couches.

It will feature music, food, free art classes, a foosball tournament a community art piece and more. It’s set for July 5-6, 2019 and tickets are already going fast, Rohs said.

Tickets are on sale for $85 plus tax for a weekend pass. For tickets or for more information, visit www.chesterfest.ca