Northlands has set it’s summer schedule, and it will use events like K-Days and the Canadian Derby as tests for it’s future plans under the Vision 2020 program.
It has also been planned around the notion of watching the pocket book and taking a ‘stay-cation’. “We made the decision that this had to be about affordability,” CEO Tim Reid told reporters at the launch.
“The feed back we got from polling last year was people wanted the entertainment,” Reid said of the decision made in the days after last year’s festival. The mixing of different styles of acts on one stage didn’t work as well as they hoped so the plan was hatched to split things up.
“This year will obviously be a test. Let’s run two stages, let’s run different genres on each stage. There will be something for everybody in the family to attend.”
The test will also be done with an eye to what the Northlands grounds will look like in future years once the festival area is established.
For what will be the final ever Canadian Derby at Northlands Aug. 20, a stage will be set up in the infield, with Paul Brandt as the entertainment. Reid said this will give them a chance to test out the race track grand stand for future use as a festival location.
“Our hope is to work with the community and get a sense of what the sound impact is. We heard commentary from the neighborhood that they wanted us to be respectful and engaged so we’ve said we’re going to trial this at a time where everyone is used to having noise in the community and we’ll see if we can make it better or worse by the positioning of the stage.”
Three price points have been set for this year: A 10-day K-Days pass at $42.50, an advanced gate admission at $12 which is a one dollar increase, and the all-day pass that includes rides at $47.
“We certainly introduced substantial spending on the entertainment side which is never inexpensive. Entertainment is a costly endeavor. We invested heavily in some of the best that Canada and North America had to offer and we’re pretty proud of the value propositions around K-Days this year,” Reid said of the price jump.
The Northlands website has the complete run-down of acts on the north and south stages that run from July 22 – 31.
Later this year, as Northlands returns to city council in September, Reid said they should have a stronger idea of how the Vision 2020 will take shape. “We continue to advance the discussion with major promoters, activating the festival site. We’re working with the festival groups in the city of Edmonton right now to see what would fit and we’re actually working on redesign based on some of their feedback.”
One recent change in plans, sees the horse racing season extend into November and December, with a standard-bred meet.