from James Covey's "Halifax on the Record"
June 4, 1998

"The last fest place on earth" June 4...

You want summer concerts? We don't got summer concerts. The big tours are just not coming here, period. Oh sure, we get another shot of the Backstreet Boys. And yeah, America's Canadian sweethearts, the Barenaked Ladies, will play kings of the Hill on Canada Day. But that's no more surprising than the list of stuff that isn't coming here. A couple of major highlights on that list are Green Day, who were never confirmed for Halifax, as it turns out, and the entire Edgefest tour, featuring hypothetical Halifax and St. John's stops which turned out to be too expensive.

One rumour swirling around is that those stops became too costly when Our Lady Peace opted out of Edgefest altogether, leaving the tour with Moist and The Tea Party as lame-duck headliners who can't pull the necessary crowds. That means you won't be seeing Green Day, Foo Fighters, or Sloan in Halifax this summer. In fact, it will be at least October before Sloan can play live in Halifax in support of their new album.

Let's see, what else isn't coming here? Speaking of America's Canadian sweethearts, it seems that Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair, with nearly 60 dates scheduled, will make 6 of those in Canada, but won't be coming further east than Ottawa (August 14).

In fact, the closest Lilith Fair stop will be in Mansfield, Massachusetts, on August 11 and 12. Which raises an interesting possibility. My advice to those of you craving the outdoor music festival experience is to take the second week of August off, pack up the camper, and head for New England. That's because, hard on the heels of Lilith's Massachusetts stop, Phish are coming back for a second consecutive two-day summer festival in Limestone, Maine. The sequel to last year's "The Great Went" is called "Lemonwheel," and it takes place at the former Loring Air Force Base, now congenially renamed the "Loring Commerce Centre" (no, I'm not kidding), on August 15 and 16. But you'll want to arrive on Friday the 14th if you want to get a decent camping spot. With a little planning, and careful budgeting, you should be able to pull off a full week of festival fun.