‘Honestly, these endless summer events are some of the best times I’ve ever had,’ says country music fan, who praised the COVID protocols in place
The Boots and Hearts Endless summer series wraps up its event of the year at Burl’s Creek this weekend.
Country music fans from across the province converged on Oro-Medonte Park to hear Canadian country artists like Dallas Smith, Tim Hicks and the James Barker Band.
Karen Hopkins, on-site media coordinator, says Burl’s Creek staff are very pleased with the attendance at Boots and Hearts events this summer.
“I think we’ve done pretty well with the restrictions (in place due to the pandemic),” Hopkins said. “People are thrilled to have live music and to have a wonderful place like Burl’s Creek where they can enjoy the show and have the distance they need.”
This weekend’s event is shaping up to be the busiest of the year, Hopkins said Friday night before headliner Dallas Smith took the main stage.
“That’s probably what we had for the Notre-Dame de la Paix weekend a few weeks ago, and we’ll have more people tomorrow and maybe even Sunday. I think it will be the weekend. the most loaded, ”she said.
Being able to camp and listen to live music makes people smile again, says Hopkins.
“It’s pure joy and happiness. Fans are excited to see friends they haven’t seen, whom they usually see at these festivals. The energy that live music gives you is something that we all missed, from festival goers to staff, ”she said.
The camping component is vital for many, she said.
“People are thrilled to be able to camp on site as it adds to the experience beyond the music. They play with friends, they play games, they camp out in the open and we’re fortunate to have this place to do it, ”Hopkins said.
There were no issues with the COVID protocols, and everyone stayed safe while attending the events in Burl’s Creek, Hopkins says.
“The way it is set up in the entertainment space, there is enough room to lie down and masks should be worn when entering and leaving different areas and also in line when waiting for food or them. toilet, ”she explained. .
As the sun sets over the summer season, Hopkins says attention has already turned to next year.
“It’s been a great year to have weekend events spread out, and it’s great to host some of our Canadian musical artists, but I really think people will be looking forward to the big Boots and Hearts weekend. because it’s just an amazing experience, ”Hopkins said.
“Right now there is a lot of planning going on and a lot of work to make Boots and Hearts 2022 amazing.”
Kirgan Heeney made the trip from Baxter to enjoy Boots and Hearts Labor Day weekend event with several friends.
“I love that I meet all of my friends when I’m here, we always have a good time,” he said.
Heeney has attended the other Endless Summer Series events this year, and he says it’s money well spent.
“Honestly, these Endless Summer events are some of the best times I’ve ever had,” he said.
Heeney says he felt safe at the events, and he thanks the staff at Burl’s Creek for making sure everyone is following COVID protocols.
“I feel like the protocols are perfect, they’re not too hard on us, but they do a good job of keeping everyone safe,” he said.
While Heeney is more than happy with his experience, he says there is room for improvement when it comes to campsites.
“They should provide trash cans so people can throw away their drinks instead of leaving a big mess in the campsites. I like the fact that they are making an effort by handing out garbage bags, ”he said.
“I think they could have left more room between campsites during an event like this during the pandemic.”
Heeney is hoping Boots and Hearts will use the same format next year by hosting multiple events instead of just one big show.
“I prefer the three events spread out, it’s much better organized. You can choose which concerts you’re going to see, and it’s a bit more low-key instead of having a big event, ”he said.
Roxanne Tremblay from Barrie was also enjoying the Boots and Hearts vibe this weekend with a small group of friends. Like Heeney, Tremblay also took part in the other event in the Boots and Hearts Endless summer series this year.
“This is my first time camping, but it looks like a tame version compared to a regular Boots event,” she said.
“This event is more enjoyable and you feel like you have more opportunities to interact with the people in your group.”
Tremblay says she never feared the threat of COVID-19 during the event due to the strong protocols in place.
“We are outside, we stay with our own group and we use the disinfection stations,” she said.
“I am doubly vaccinated and I am safe. If you are careful and stay in your bubble, you’ll be fine.
While Tremblay enjoyed the camping experience, she says there is room for improvement in this regard.
“They could always add more toilets, and the fact that we all throw our empties in the trash really bothers me. I wish we could recycle properly like they do at the Mariposa Folk Festival, it would be nice if this event was more environmentally friendly, ”she said.
Next year, Tremblay hopes Boots and Hearts will return to their regular weekend event.
“It depends on where we are with COVID and the restrictions, but personally I love the big event and I think it’s fun to see everyone, it’s a big wow factor,” she said. declared.
“It’s better than nothing, and after having had all the blockages over the past two years, we just want to relax and have fun, and this is the perfect event to do it safely.”