This Labour Day long weekend will see the inaugural outdoor Shine On festival take over the field at the University of Lethbridge stadium.
The festival, taking place on Sept. 2nd and 3rd, is built around the University's Alumni Homecoming and is the signature event of the U of L's 50th anniversary. There's going to be alumni activities, a community concert and a free community fair highlighting arts, culture, food and drink, song and dance and sporting events for all ages.
It's being held in partnership with the City of Lethbridge, and the Enmax Centre among others.
Enmax Centre General Manager Kim Gallucci says ticket sales are going well in the lead up to the event. "We definitely have room for more people, and we'd definitely like to see lots of people out there this weekend," said Gallucci.
Feedback is already coming in from people excited about the festival this weekend according to Gallucci.
"People are excited about the variety of the acts that are coming, and they're really looking forward to seeing how an outdoor festival is going to look given this is the first time we're putting it on," said Gallucci.
The list of performers who will be in Lethbridge at Shine On include Dallas Smith, Corb Lund, Mother Mother, Virginia to Vegas, the Washboard Union, Trevor Panczak, and Double Jack. In between each performance DJ Millz Skillz will be playing so there will be constant music all weekend long.
Putting together any event of this size can be a challenge, especially for the first time. Gallucci says it's a challenge because there's a lot of things that need to be set up and put into place.
"Laying down the tarps to protect the field, creating special gateways for exiting, figuring out power needs for the area and handling ticketing for the site. It's definitely been a huge learning curve and experience, but it's been going well, and we think we have everything in place," said Gallucci, adding they are right where they should be when it comes to being ready for Saturday.
University Advancement Executive Director Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock says the experience from the University's point of view has been similar when it comes to getting prepared for the weekend.
"I think everyone involved in the process has learned a lot. None of us have ever done this before, so I'm very thankful for the work everyone has put into it," said Jacobson-Gundlock who believes that Southern Albertans are really in for a show.
Jacobson-Gundlock says there's obviously a number of issues around parking for the event. "Figuring out how to move people from the University campus to the stadium has been a challenge, but we feel we have it under control," finished Jacobson-Gundlock.
Anyone attending the Shine On Festival cannot park at the U of L Community Stadium, unless they have a valid accessible parking permit. Free parking is available on the main campus and lit paths lead to the stadium.
"I think everyone's excited about the event within the university community, especially because we're hosting our homecoming this weekend as well. We have more than 700 alumni and friends coming back to campus this weekend, and it's another opportunity for us to celebrate the 50th anniversary for the university," Jacobson-Gundlock said.
Homecoming events for university alumni begin on Friday, and run throughout the weekend on top of the festival.
Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, and musical performances run from 1:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Festival goers will have to have tickets purchased for Saturday, but on Sunday it will be open to the public with no tickets required. Gates will open at 10 a.m. and things run until 5 p.m.
Weather is expected to be great for this weekend, with the forecast calling for 31°C and sunny on Saturday, and 27°C and sunny for Sunday.
Tickets are still available for $75, and those with a special U of L code will be able to buy tickets for $65.00. Tickets for children 12-and-under are $49.50, and they can be purchased online at enmaxcentre.ca.
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