Country stars throw flood relief concerts | Canadians gather for EDM festival | BottleRock pops off in Napa

Country stars throw flood relief concerts

Tennessee was devastated by the floods from August 17, along with many other surrounding areas. Country stars are now banding together for benefit concerts to support the hard hit Dickson and Humphreys County communities. The upcoming September 13th concert has an impressive line up that includes stars like Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire who will be taking the stage at the Grand Ole Opry House alongside host and country legend Loretta Lynn.

Looking Pretty Music City sign

All proceeds from the ‘Hometown Rising Flood Relief Benefit Concert’ will go towards the ​​United Way of Humphreys County to support immediate and long term relief to the victims. In fact, it's not the only concert this week being thrown to help the victims of the flooding. Dierks Bentley, HARDY and others gathered on September 8th at Nashville’s Marathon Music Work to take part in the Morgan Wallen and Friends benefit concert which sold out its 1,700 tickets immediately.

The sold out shows demonstrate the importance of a community coming together and the power of music as donations have already soared.

Canadians gather for EDM festival

North of the border, Ottawa’s Escapade Music Festival returned on September 4th after a 2 year hiatus. Although it looked a little different this time around, organizers and fans alike were excited to have the festival return to the nation’s capital after having to be rescheduled 3 times due to COVID. Entry was limited to fully vaccinated guests and the attendance was cut by more than half, from the usual 20,000 to 9,000. Some guests even got the jab just so they could attend the long awaited festival.

There was lots of stress and meticulous planning leading up to the festival for Director Ali Schafaee in order to host a successful and safe event for everyone involved. The Escapade Festival was even ahead of the game in requiring proof of vaccination for entrance, which will only be a provincial requirement by the end of the month. Ontario will implement the COVID passport requirement which will take effect as of September 22 and will be required for all live events among other places, following suit with other provinces across the country.

Ottawa Parliament

Even with Canada’s top health official Dr. Theresa Tam warning that Canadians should still avoid gathering in large numbers (without taking precautions like wearing masks and social distancing), it didn’t seem to deter the 9,000 eager festival goers who were itching for a taste of live music. Some even seemed pretty liberal about mask wearing once inside the festival, which was a requirement.

BottleRock pops off in Napa

Labor Day weekend kicked off with the BottleRock Festival in Napa Valley drawing a crowd of around 40,000 a day despite concerns over the rising cases of the Delta variant and smoky skies from surrounding wildfires. The sold out festival was nothing short of memorable as it was one of the first major music festivals to return to Northern California.

Palm tree and balloons

The line up at the 3 day festival included over 80 performers, from The Foo Fighters and Miley Cyrus to G-Eazy and The Highwomen, so a little something for everybody. Guns ‘N’ Roses also took the stage and were even unplugged in the middle of a set because of the 10 pm city curfew, which is not an uncommon occurrence at BottleRock apparently. There were a couple shake-ups in the line up leading up to the weekend; Stevie Nicks pulled out (due to COVID concerns) and was replaced with country star Chris Stapleton, who eventually had to cancel at the last minute (due to a non-COVID related sickness). The changes didn’t seem to shake up the fans who all seemed to have had a great weekend celebration.

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test (taken within 72 hours of the festival) were required for entry, and according to festival organizers, a whopping 96% of attendees showed their vaccination card on day one. Masks were only required indoors and the festival went completely cashless. It was a little easier for social distancing with the reduced crowd, and fans who dished out a little extra cash for VIP tickets were offered areas with more space to distance themselves a little more from others.

More festivals are scheduled for the fall throughout California and they will likely be looking at BottleRock as a model for their own events.