Harvest Music Festival is getting its mojo back with first full lineup since 2019

The Mojo tent is returning to Officers’ Square for the first time since 2019, bringing both familiar and fresh names to the capital in September.

The biggest headliners of the festival, set for Sept. 12 -17, are Phish frontman and founder Trey Anastasio with the band Classic TAB, and the Icelandic blues-rock band Kaleo.

Indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene, New Brunswick favourite son Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, the blues-rock reggae band Big Sugar, Daniel Lanois and emerging singer-songwriter Aysanabee are also in the lineup. 

The festival was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was cut back significantly in 2021, and last year it approached the number of shows it would normally have, but was still a little light. 

Smiling man
Brent Staeben, the music director for Harvest Music Festival, says there are 23 shows in the lineup this year. (Gary Moore/CBC)

This year the festival is back at 2019 levels, said Brent Staeben, the festival’s music director.

“We’ve got 23 ticketed shows,” he said. 

“One of the biggest responses we got was, ‘Let’s get back to pre-COVID Harvest.'”

The Mojo is the second-largest venue — there will also be shows at the Playhouse, as well as the Blues tent and the Barracks tent.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, David Myles and Crystal Shawanda are scheduled to play the Mojo. On Friday, it will be Joel Plaskett Emergency and Megan Purnell, and Saturday night will feature a rock and blues show with Wide Mouth Mason, Diana Greenleaf and Steve Marriner.

“We’re back with a lot of old familiar friends and faces,” Staeben said. 

While the number of shows is the same as in 2019, there aren’t as many tents. Staeben said a lack of volunteers made it impossible to run four this time out.

“The struggle to get people back out volunteering is enormous,” he said. “Part of the reason we’re reintroducing the Mojo this year is really test what our volunteer capacity and capabilities are.”

He said the festival is also rolling out the much-anticipated festival app, which can help people get familiar with the acts to plan their weekend.

Information Morning – Fredericton14:07Harvest lineup

Brent Staeben joined Jeanne Armstrong to announce this year’s lineup for the Harvest Music Festival.

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