London News & Search
Area musician Brent Jones grew up amid the rural splendour of Southwestern Ontario, specifically his family farm near Dorchester.
Back to the Garden — the summer music fest he founded with Pete Denomme of the London Music Club and which runs Aug. 19-20 this year — is a way for him to share that country vibe with like-minded fans of roots and folk music.
The “welcoming” sound will be shared by more than 30 acts who will perform next weekend at the Jones family plot.
“We don’t have a bank machine. So bring chickens or cash or whatever,” Jones joked.
The musicianship is free for all, although there will be a hat-passing to help defray costs.
“It kind of organically comes together,” he said, noting it’s a very sort of “un-committee-type” of affair. “All musicians donate their time.”
The schedule includes 30-minute sets by the likes of the Marrieds, Newport Electric and Safe as Milk.
Your hosts are Jones and Denomme, with radio personality Ryan Spence acting as MC for the two-day festival.
“They are some of my closest musical friends,” Jones said, with some acts coming from as far away as Australia and Japan to take part.
Vendor tents are also free, but Jones says the experience some artisans gain is priceless.
“There will also be displays and information from community groups and organizations,” the event’s Facebook page adds.
What pleases Jones is when he sees musicians who met at the farm for the first time come together months later to play on each other’s records.
“It’s trying to build the musical community,” he explained of the show’s purpose.
New this August at the Jones farm is a recently refurbished barn, where a number of the musicians will play over the course of the weekend.
“It’s a big, beautiful, old structure,” Jones said, his affection for the rural setting obvious in his voice.
Since it receives no public funding or sponsorships, Back to the Garden attendees shouldn’t expect to find a beer tent sponsored by, say, Budweiser or Labatt Blue, which is fine with Jones.
“You feel like you’re just a beer salesman a lot of the time. We want this to be a family thing,” he said — ranging from seniors to families with kids.
The model is, of course, Woodstock.
Jones points out the fabled outdoor festival ran over time and didn’t make any money — but has become a legendary turning point in hippie mythology since 1969.
Jones points out wryly that the acts at Coachella, the massive concert in California, probably take the stage on time; however, it’s unlikely to be remembered in decades to come.
Back to the Garden kicks off Aug. 19 with a sunset concert on the new stage. Seating is limited, so email jones (at firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a ticket. The songs come to an end Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.
The point is to “build community through grassroots action and resource sharing,” Jones explains on Facebook.
Barn Stage: 6 p.m., Psalm Trees; 6:30 p.m., Crystal Kirk; 7 p.m., Christine Newland, Black Heart Machine; 7:30 p.m., Aistis; 8 p.m., The Marrieds; 8:30 p.m., Jay Atwill; 9 p.m., A Meeting of Tribes, Scott McCleary, Darcy Corbett; 9:30 p.m., Pete Denomme, Brent Jones; 10 p.m. The Mongrels
Outdoor Stage: Noon, Westminster Park; 12:30 p.m., Aaron Allen; 1 p.m., Newport Electric; 1:30 p.m., Scott Brunelle; 2 p.m., Broomsticks & Hammers; 2:30 p.m., The Cedar Sisters; 3:30 p.m., Supernatural Buffalo; 4 p.m., Safe As Milk; 4:30 p.m., Stacey Zegers; 5 p.m., Pete Denomme & the Cosmic Cowboys
Barn Stage: 11 a.m., Jocelyn Rasmussen; 11:30 a.m., Roger Fisher; Noon, DeRoK & The RoLLeRs; 12:30 p.m., Arcadia Blue; 1 p.m., Coming Up Roses; 1:30 p.m., Chris Scott; 2 p.m., Alex Mason; 2:30 p.m., Brooke Topp; 3 p.m., Joe Borowsky; 3:30 p.m., Sean McCready; 4 p.m., Andy Chillman/Jess Jones
If you go
What: Back to the Garden concert
When: Aug. 19-20
Where: 1681 Hunt Rd., Dorchester
London News & Search