Why is BlackCreek Festival relying on stars of the 1980s to sell tickets to inaugural season?
We're less than a week away from the opening of the inaugural BlackCreek Festival and, with each announcement of a new act for the summer-long concert series at the Rexall Centre tennis stadium, I hear Pierre Elliott Trudeau smugly saying "Welcome to the 1980s" in the background.
Yes, there are artists coming to BlackCreek whose parents had barely reached adulthood in 1980, but the vast majority of the marquee acts are people whose names and reputations were made during the last heyday of the shoulder pad.
To the credit of festival organizers, all were and continue to be great artists. But I'm wondering about the preponderance of older names. Are these the only names that can draw people out to a 10,000-plus-seat venue? Are these the only names that can attract an audience from outside the 416/647 area codes?
Is this festival lineup the single clearest indication we've seen in these parts that the mainstream, middlebrow, middle-of-the-road world of adult-contemporary pop, jazz standards and light classical is aging its way into an eventual grave?
Of course there are younger performers on the bill, but they come in packages, not as standalones. Take Diana Krall with Tony Bennett, or Jesse Cook with Chris Botti and Pink Martini, as examples.
I'm very eager to see what the audiences will look like. And, for everyone's sake, praying that this season's weather patterns change soon.