MooseFest moves outdoors as expanded lineup prepares to rock Bellevue

Scott Roos

Special to the Herald

The highly anticipated sequel to one of Saskatchewan’s newest music festivals will go down in Bellevue, Sask. south of Prince Albert this Saturday, Aug. 6.

The second annual MooseFest Music Festival will feature some of the province’s top musical talent, including W3apons, Traitors’ Gate, The Radiant, and The Hourhand among others. It’s going to be a rocking good time that will hopefully see the festival and its organizers Joel Gaudet and Mark Poppen avoid the sophomore jinx.

“I don’t even know what a sophomore jinx is. That’s how I’m going to avoid that,” Gaudet told the Herald in a recent zoom interview.

“(The sophomore jinx) doesn’t exist,” Poppen added. “It doesn’t exist. We’re just considering this as a first time.”

MooseFest is the brainchild of the two friends who co-host a wildly popular local podcast called “The Sit Down”. Poppen and Gaudet wanted a festival that would feature some of the more memorable acts that had been guests on the podcast.

The end result, last summer, was an indoor event at the Bellevue Community Hall that featured Seven Mile Sun, League of Wolves, and The Steadies. This year will be a different ball game, however, as the Festival heads outdoors to the Bellevue Recreational Grounds – an area of the hamlet that often holds sporting events. 

“It’s more than just a band on stage,” Gaudet said. “It’s about enjoying the live music, getting outdoors, and loving it together. All that kind of stuff.”

For Poppen and Gaudet, moving outdoors makes it feel like a first-time experience, since there are so many different considerations to take into account. This year’s festival also has twice as many bands as the first edition, with camping being made available on site.

In the end, the two just want to support the talent they’ve witnessed over the past few years of doing the podcast. They are strong supporters of the independent music scene and want to do their part to give exposure to the acts that grace their stage.

“We’re not gatekeepers by any means,” Gaudet said. “We see these artists, these new up and comers, and it’s the music that we love.

“It’s got our full support. We like their music and hopefully you’ll like it too.”

Manitoban rockers Ex Omerta and the Northern Royals will join the four Saskatchewan bands. Tickets for the one day event are available for $55. Doors will open at noon with the festivities kicking off at 1 pm.

For those wishing to stay the night, 28 Campsites will be available on the festival grounds. They have power. Sites are affordable at $30 per night and are first-come, first-served. For those requiring any further info you can consult the festival’s website here: https://www.moosefestsk.ca/

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