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This article was published 12/9/2016 (1709 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mark Cardy and Melanie Leslie shared a kiss as Slow Leaves, a Winnipeg band, played in the background.
Nearby, Ryan Hrabluik tossed Coen Fehr, 3, in the air, much to the delight of the youngster.
It was a laid-back vibe on Saturday as nearly 600 music lovers attended the first Summer Lights Music Festival on the Keystone Centre grounds.
Festival director Dylan MacDonald was blown away by the support.
"The crowd was fantastic. The bands were great and they were really happy to be in Brandon playing. I couldn’t have asked for anything more for the first year of the festival," MacDonald said.
A stacked lineup that featured Joel Plaskett of Dartmouth, N.S., Vancouver’s Said The Whale and Winnipeg’s The Crooked Brothers drew festivalgoers from throughout Westman.
MacDonald said the highlight for him was Winnipeg’s Attica Riots.
It was Plaskett, however, who stole the show. A multi-Juno Award winner, Plaskett blends an eclectic array of musical genres with colourful storytelling.
"Joel Plaskett had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands with his stories," MacDonald said.
Ismaila Alfa, host of "Up To Speed" on CBC Radio One, kept the festival moving.
"He’s already demanded to be emcee next year, so that’s great," MacDonald said.
The festival, which was nestled in the trees in the southeastern portion of the Keystone Centre grounds, is part of the Summer Lights Concert Series.
"You feel like you’re in a treed field 20 miles from Brandon, so it is neat, and I think we tried our best to light up the site and make everyone feel comfortable," MacDonald said.
The festival offered free camping and a writing workshop for aspiring musicians prior to the first act taking the stage at noon.
"We had a fair few people camp, which was cool," MacDonald said. "After we finished the teardown that we could do (Saturday) night, we went down to the campground and hung out around the fire for a bit. It was like its own little community within the community, which was neat."
MacDonald said revenue is still being calculated. The festival’s largest funding partner is the City of Brandon’s community development department.
"It’s tough starting a festival, but the goal is to transition in the next few years so that the city is a partner," MacDonald said.
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