Sam Roberts and company to headline The Gathering

Rudy Norman
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Burlington festival will see more big names this summer

The Gathering set high standards last year, with Canadian Rock legend Jim Cuddy joining his sons Devin and Sam on the stage to headline the August festival hosted in the Burlington, Middle Arm and Smith’s Harbour region of the Baie Verte Peninsula.

Sam Roberts

Local celebrity Shaun Majumder, along with a team of volunteers and workers pulled off the three-day event, which was promoted as a celebration of Fire, Food and Music, and also hosted a number of the province’s best-known chefs who prepared delicious meals for visitors all weekend long, as well as a comedy show, and plenty of other musical guests that lit up the outdoor stage.

This year, the crew, still fronted by Majumder, will be hosting The Gathering once again, and are bringing in some more big name acts to round out what’s sure to be another exciting festival.

Headliners this year include acoustic duo "Minotaur" featuring Sam Roberts and Sam Roberts Band lead guitarist, Dave Nugent.

“Minotaur is the best Sam Roberts Cover band in the country,” Majumder said with a laugh, in an interview last week.

 “You will not want to miss this. They sound exactly like the real Sam Roberts – it’s spooky.”

He says he met up with the Sam Roberts half of Minotaur last year on a shoot for This Hour Has 22 Minutes and pitched the idea of him coming to The Gathering this year.

Other guests for the weekend will include Steve Poltz, famous for working with Jewel as a performer and songwriter. Former member of Great Big Sea, Sean McCann will also be there.

“Sean was at the very first Gathering we had two years ago, and he understands what we’re trying to do with the whole BSM project,” Majumder said. “It’s going to be great to have him back this year, now that we’ve grown and are more established than we were back in the first experimental year.”

Recent ECMA Traditional Instrumental Recording of the Year winners Duane Andrews and Craig Young, along with the sister songstresses Ashelin and the Bay St. George Folk Arts Council, round out the list of headliners for The Gathering – but Majumder says there may be more surprises yet.

“We’re still ironing out the details, and there’s likely to be some more faces there, yet,” he said. In addition to artists coming in, Majumder says he also wants to see homegrown and local talent blossom on the main stage as well.

“There’s so much talent and so much culture right at our doorstep in that region, and we want to encourage that and help it grow,” he said. “We’re going to have times during the weekend where people will be able to get up and jam and do a couple songs to show what they’ve got, and let people know there’s talent everywhere.”

In addition to the musical acts, The Gathering will also include a roster of top-notch culinary artists on board.

Roary Macpherson of the St. John’s Sheraton heads up the Chef team again this year. The Winner of GoldMedalPlates St John’s, Chef Roger Andrews, will join him and flying in from New York City is Director of Culinary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Chef David Garcelon and his wife, Kylie.

“Last year, we got so much amazing feedback on the food, and we want to keep that going,” said Majumder. “We’ve got some of the best chefs in the province and beyond coming to prepare some amazing food.”

Majumder will also be joined by his 22 Minutes counterpart, Mark Critch, for a comedy show on Friday night, which is sure to be another great draw for people.

“Last year we had my buddy John Sheehan, and the comedy show sold out, and then some. So this year we’re looking at what we can do to rectify that,” he said. “We’re looking at possibly getting a bigger venue, or maybe even adding a second show. But don’t tell Critch that – I don’t want to scare him off.”

Tickets for The Gathering aren’t on sale yet, but Majumder says people should expect them to be available soon.

“We’re getting everything in place right now, actually, so it shouldn’t be too long and we’ll have everything up and ready to go,” he said.

The Gathering happens on August 22-24 in Burlington. For more information, people can visit www.thegatheringburlington.com

Organizations: The Gathering, Great Big Sea

Geographic location: Burlington, New York City

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