This year's event not only includes a busker section, family stage, water show, crafters and artists and a midway, but it also boasts big-name headliners every night of its four-day run, beginning Aug. 23.
Pop-rock music lovers will be treated to a show by Marianas Trench opening night, while classical rockers can look forward to catching Blue Oyster Cult on Aug. 24.
On Aug. 25, Three Days Grace takes the stage before Terri Clark wraps up the festival Aug. 26.
“There is always something for everybody,” Christopher Nerpin, the festival's volunteer media co-ordinator, said.
On top of the headlining acts, 17 local performers are scheduled into 23 slots during the weekend, some opening up the mainstage, and others entertaining from the B-Side stage.
Richard Migneault, volunteer co-ordinator of the B-Side stage, said the festival is built around “a fine balance of local talent (mixed with) some great out-of-towners as well.”
The emphasis on showcasing local talent has always been part of the Summerfest mandate, he said. It gives Sudbury-based musicians the opportunity to shine in front of a hometown audience.
“(Local talent) is the musical landscape of our community,” he said.
Wanting to be as inclusive as possible, festival organizers strive for variety in local performers and big-name acts, designed to showcase a variety of music as well, and offering something for every sort of music lover.
“We are trying to create a good variety of music,” he said. “We always try to feature a variety of acts. We want to create balance, that would cater to different demographics.”
And that's exactly what has happened — the Summerfest lineup includes a bit of jazz, country, rock and pop, and everything in between.
“This year, I feel we do have a really good balance,” Migneault said. A full schedule is available online at www.sudburysummerfest.org. There are even some young performers in the spotlight.
“We'd like to encourage the youth of our community as well,” Migneault said.
Cymbal Minded, a group from Innovative Guitar Ideas, and In-house Suspension, Pinecrest Public School's band, will be performing.
It's all part of keeping with the family-friendly vibe of the event. Nerpin said there really are attractions at the festival to cater to every crowd — thanks to the volunteers who dedicate their time to the event year after year.
Pam Chenard has been part of the festival for as long as she can remember, her mom being part of the board certainly contributed to her decision to get involved. Chenard is now the festival's vendor co-ordinator. She said it's a task she looks forward to taking on every year.
“What I like about the position I'm in is that no matter how stressful it is to prepare, at the end of the weekend, I can walk around and see smiling faces and know that I helped in make it happen,” she said. “People just love having something so community-oriented to do, and we love to provide them with that opportunity.”
Tickets to the festival, which takes place at Bell Park throughout the weekend, are available from the Sudbury Arena Box Office. Phone 705-674-4455 or visit greatersudbury.ca to purchase tickets to headliner shows. Admission to the grounds is free throughout the weekend.