Campobello Fogfest moving ahead, but with a new twist

Campobello – Every year, musicians, artists, and others have gathered on Campobello for Fogfest. This year, there can be no public gatherings, but that hasn’t stopped Fogfest organizers from coming up with a way to continue on with the festival, even though they will have to do things much differently than in the past.

Volunteer Stephanie Anthony said she and organizer Diana Parker have been talking back and forth about Fogfest and how they would be able to do something this year. She said they are missing a lot of grants, but they are still able to put something together so people can enjoy a virtual festival.

“We were just so bummed about everything closing, and all the festival announcements,” said Anthony. “We said, what if we can still do it. She said, I really want to, do you? I said yes. Of course, we’re missing a bunch of grants this year because of this, but the ones that we do still have, we have the go-ahead to try and create a virtual festival.”

Anthony said they have a grant from Heritage Canada, and the organization is quite excited about what the organizers are going to be able to put together this year. There is also a municipal grant from the Town of Campobello. As usual, Mayor Brett Newman is excited to be a part of the festival, and he will be delivering his opening ceremonies speech via YouTube.

Campobello Fogfest has always been an eclectic mix of performers and artists, and this year will be no different. In fact, things are going to be even more eclectic, since the organizers plan to utilize many different social media sites, including YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram Live.

“It’s always kind of an eclectic festival anyway,” said Anthony. “It’s not just one specific location and everyone’s there for the music that day. Fogfest has always been kind of all over the island, and we spread it out with the different venues. We’re hoping that all of the venues that are still open will be contributing something, including Roosevelt Park. We’ve already been talking to them.”

There are already several acts lined up for virtual performances, including Ivan Daigle, Nick Gay, Cassidy Cook, Claudette Norman, and Todd and Penny McGuire. They are also working on lining up artists, and have already signed on Kali Gough and Joyce Morrell. Anthony said Roosevelt Park is also on board, and she expects they will put together a history and heritage video for the festival. She added everyone she has spoken with is excited to try and pull off the festival virtually

“We do music, art and culture,” said Anthony. “Music is kind of our main focus, but we love all of the other parts of it too. Everyone is excited, probably because their schedules are completely open. We’ve been following social media and all of the online music that’s started since all this quarantine business began. The ones that we’ve had over the years have come right to the front with doing virtual performances and said we’re in, we’re up for it.”

In addition to online performances, Anthony said they also plan to shake things up in other ways. For instance, she is toying with the idea of having some musicians perform at a local radio station, so even seniors and others who do not use the Internet can still enjoy the music.

“Something for everyone, which has always been Fogfest. We do everything from gospel in the field to rock and roll at a coffee shop. This year it will just be different.”

Putting together a festival such as Fogfest is a challenge in itself, and this year, it will be even more challenging for the organizers. The festival is in its eighth year, but this year Anthony said they are heading into brand new territory in the way that they can deliver Fogfest to the public.

“In some ways, it’s going to be a lot less work, but in other ways I think it’s going to be a lot more because it’s going to be something we aren’t used to doing. We’ve figured a bunch of stuff out but this is going to be all new territory. It’s a whole new way of doing things now. We’re so, so happy that everyone has come together and allowed us to try this. We’ve had so much bad news lately that we just really wanted to make people smile.”

Sari Green