20,000 visitors a day? High hopes for Lasso Montreal
American singer Dierks Bentley, guest at the Lasso Montreal festival this year
The third time will (in principle!) finally be the good for Lasso Montreal, the new country festival overseen by evenko, whose baptism will take place on August 12 and 13 at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 , then in 2021, but was canceled twice due to a certain-virus-you-may-have-heard-about…
And the production does not hide that; she harbors high expectations of her cowboy boot Osheaga. In interview with Metro, Nick Farkas, vice-president of programming, concerts and events at evenko, says he hopes to attract around 20,000 visitors a day to his new country high mass.
“Country sales have been going really well at the Bell Center for four or five years, observes Nick Farkas. As soon as Lasso was announced, the reaction was much greater than for other festivals, and sales are already going very well. It was very strong from the start, we saw that people were waiting for a country festival in Montreal. Osheaga, at the beginning, there were not many people (laughs), and ÎleSoniq took a few years to take off. If we had between 15,000 and 25,000 people a day, that would be unheard of for us, for a first year of the festival.”
Remember that this first edition of Lasso Montreal will rely on the presence of stars like Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Old Dominion, Kelsea Ballerini, Ashley McBryde, Brittany Kennell, Matt Lang and Mountain Daisies to make his birth official.
Nick Farkas, vice-president of programming, concerts and events at evenko
Credit: Susan Moss
No Heavy this year
Nick Farkas firmly believes that it's not just the villages, which are usually associated with western and country fans, that can rally crowds of followers of the genre.
“We have the opportunity to use the same site as for the other [evenko] festivals, so we are able to offer an experience that does not really exist in this type of festival at the moment. The majority of [country] festivals are camping festivals, which are not in the middle of a city.”
“We aim to become a destination in the future, continues the organizer. In Osheaga, between 60 and 70% of people come from outside Quebec; in ÎleSoniq, it goes up every year, there are more and more tourists. With Lasso, for the first year, we are targeting Quebec and the surrounding area, but in the future, we would like to have an event that stands out from the others. Because we have one of the best festival sites in the world with Parc Jean-Drapeau.”
Under the direction of evenko, this same Parc Jean-Drapeau will host the traditional Osheaga this year (29 in July 31) and the partyelectronic music lovers, ÎleSoniq (August 5 to 7), to which we added an extra day.
A crowd of Osheaga in 2018
Credit: Tim Snow
But, exceptionally this summer, no Heavy Montreal. It's the Rammstein show, also scheduled for Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sunday, August 21, that will serve as a meeting place for fans of metal music.
“But we'll see about next year, that's for sure,” assures Nick Farkas, who says he's excited as ever to reconnect in 2022 with a real season of festivals, the likes of which we haven't experienced since 2019.
“It's incredibly exciting. People have found these two years [2020 and 2021] long and are ready to come back in large numbers. So we work very closely. It is certain that we will do something impressive this year!”