Summer Festival Guide: Big Red

Where: Charlottetown, P.E.I
When: July 12

What is it: This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, the meeting that led to the birth of Canada a few years later. To celebrate, the province has a plethora of festivals, events and activities taking place. It has already been a great year for music in Charlottetown as the city hosted East Coast Music Week in March. The awesome twin duo of Tegan and Sara played Canada Day earlier this month and now Big Red, in it’s second year, get’s a lineup with big names including The Killers and Death Cab For Cutie. Two days of the festival already happened in June with bands including Hey Rosetta!, Sam Roberts Band, Lights and more. The festival is a perfect excuse for a vacation. So hang out on a beach, grab some seafood and catch some tunes.

Eats/sleeps: The island is full of great campgrounds and a beach is always a stone’s throw away. Hunter’s Ale House is a great place to watch live music and has good food at an affordable price.

What to wear: Wearing layers in the Maritimes is key all year around where it seems like Mother Nature can’t make up her mind and decide what season it is.  Shorts and t-shirt weather in the afternoon can turn into ‘where’s my sweater?’ weather once the sun goes down.

Headliners: The Killers, Death Cab For Cutie, Drive By Truckers, Matt Mays

Mix picks: Bahamas – He writes songs with dreamy guitar hooks and has a calming presence that transports you to a wonderful summery island. Hey! That sounds like Prince Edward Island. Expect plenty of new material from his new album Bahamas is Afie coming out August 19.

July Talk – We featured the Toronto band in our 2013 Festival Guide and they’re worth mentioning again as they play the festival circuit once again this summer. Since last year, they’ve signed multiple record deals in Europe, released a deluxe version of their first album and have been trying out new shows on the road.

Mix tip: Last year, one of the stages was inside the beer gardens area. This was no problem if you were of age but it was unfortunate that not everyone could see every band. This year, the second stage is moved so all fans can enjoy each artist. Finally, P.E.I. is the perfect spot for a vacation. Hit up a beach in the morning and catch the concert in the afternoon and evening.

Photo of Big Red crowd: Mixtape Magazine/Scott Blackburn