COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Nathan Rogers works on a tent at the Keystone Centre forest site of the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival on Tuesday afternoon. The annual weekend music and art festival kicks off this Friday.
Spread out your blanket, settle in and get ready for the 30th annual Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival to fill the Keystone Centre grounds with music.
Ben Caplan will be headlining Saturday night at the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival. (SUBMITTED)
Headliners Martin Sexton, Cold Specks and Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers will be in Brandon from Friday through Sunday evenings, along with many other big and emerging names in the folk community.
"I haven’t shown Manitoba as much love yet as I want to," Caplan said. "I actually didn’t even know I had been booked as a headliner until I read an article a few weeks ago."
This will be the first time he gets the chance to play in Brandon.
Local musician Zachary Lancaster is a huge fan of Caplan’s and is excited to be playing with him during Saturday afternoon’s showcase.
"Everyone should go and see his set. Ben Caplan is going to be the next big thing," Lancaster said. "It will definitely be a highlight of my weekend."
Lancaster played at last year’s folk festival as part of the emerging artists program, along with another Brandon local, Katie MacDonald.
This year, both singer-songwriters will be back to play some in-between sets throughout the weekend.
"Taking part in the emerging artists program and getting to meet and talk to different artists was really great," MacDonald said.
With just a few days until the first concert starts, artistic director Shandra MacNeill said things are looking good.
The Keystone Centre grounds have been cleaned up from the storm that downed between 30 and 40 trees.
"The Keystone has done an amazing job at getting everything ready for us," MacNeill said. "Now it is just last-minute co-ordinating with the artists and setting up the site."
The fences were put up around the festival site on Monday, and the crew continues work to have the site ready for gates to open on Friday.
"I am really excited about all the artists this year," MacNeill said. "There is an amazing amount of talent, music and culture coming together."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 23, 2014