Indian River Festival offers free livestreams of select concerts with Pocket IRF
Catch four unique concerts featuring Island talent either in-person or online throughout July and August
Imagine being able to experience the acoustic splendour of an Indian River Festival concert in our beautiful heritage venue —all from the screen of your phone or computer. Enter: Pocket IRF, a livestreamed and fully accessible mini-festival meant to make IRF’s concerts available to a wider audience by offering free, live music streamed directly from Historic St. Mary’s.
Presented by the Confederation Bridge, the Indian River Festival presents a summer-long series of concerts in the acoustically-unparalleled heritage site Historic St. Mary’s, located in idyllic rural Prince Edward Island. The internationally recognized Festival has been twice named by the Globe and Mail as one of the best summer music festivals in Canada and presents outstanding performances from a dynamic mix of some of the biggest names in Canadian music and exciting emerging talents. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in summer 2021, the Festival began as a few stand-alone concerts to save Historic St. Mary’s; soon after, it grew into a small concert series called Midsummer Magic. Fast forward 25 years and it has since grown into a fully-fledged, internationally-renowned festival.
Although we have moved past the days of Midsummer Magic, that is exactly the legacy we want to build on this milestone year: to create an extraordinary, magical experience for our audience. The Festival usually attracts thousands of music lovers annually to experience the very best in folk, blues, jazz, classical, traditional, and world music. However, due to gathering and travel restrictions still in place from the pandemic, in-person audience numbers have been slashed dramatically, and many loyal festival-goers won’t have the chance to make it to St. Mary’s this summer. Luckily, Pocket IRF will allow come-from-away patrons, many of whom have been with us from the beginning, to still experience some midsummer magic this July and August.
Audience members will have the opportunity to watch four concerts this summer either in-person or online as part of Pocket IRF: Meaghan Blanchard, Logan Richard, Emmet MacLellan on July 23; Christina Bouey and Magdalena von Eccher on July 25; Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys on August 6; and Afternoon Arias with Nicole Bellamy, Andrea Núñez, Nathan Keoughan, Jillian Clow and Sébastien Comtois on August 8.
“The whole Festival team is proud to present the 2021 season of wonderful performances in our spectacular venue, and we are thrilled to be able to live stream our multi-genre mini series in order to share the fun with a wider audience of music lovers,” says Robert Kortgaard, IRF’s Artistic Director. “We are grateful to have first rate technology in place, ready to capture the joy and artistry of our stellar PEI musicians as they step to centre stage.”
Many of IRF’s long-time patrons travel large distances to experience the magic of fine music in Historic St. Mary’s each year—the festival draws visitors from across Canada and around the world. While the Island’s borders have recently opened-up, remaining travel restrictions and ever-looming uncertainty can still make it difficult or impossible for some fans to make the trek to Historic St. Mary’s.
Long-time Indian River Festival fan and Toronto-local Sheila Grant is thrilled by the prospect of watching shows from her home this summer. “Because of COVID and travel restrictions we won’t be able to get to PEI this year—but I’ll definitely be tuning in online!” says Grant“Nothing beats actually being in St. Mary’s and experiencing the amazing acoustics for yourself, but this a great way to get our Island-music fix from away this summer”
We at Indian River Festival know that fine music is for everyone—regardless of their background, age, location, or ability—and we are committed to creating an accessible festival experience. Pocket IRF will eliminate many barriers to entry, making these free select performances available to those who may not be able to afford tickets, are unable to travel due to geographical distance or COVID restrictions, or simply are unable to sit through an hour-long concert without discomfort.
The Pocket IRF production team includes Universum Media, K-Audio, 3Sixty Live, and IRF’s own sound-tech extraordinaire Peter Gallant. Pocket IRF is proudly supported by the PEI Events Innovation Fund and made possible through funding from Confederation Bridge, the Government of Canada, the Province of PEI, Innovation PEI, the Community Cultural Partnership Program, the Community Foundation of PEI, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and the SOCAN Foundation.
Those interested in watching any of the livestreamed Pocket IRF concerts can register in advance online through the IRF website. Links to watch each concert will be available upon registration. The concerts will be streamed at Atlantic Time and only available for the duration of the concert so be sure to set your watches to Island time to tune in!
For those who can make the in-person performances, there are still a few tickets available for the four featured concerts, as well as many other Indian River Festival events this season. Tickets can be purchased online at www.indianriverfestival.com, or by calling or visiting the Festival Box Office at Historic St. Mary’s: 902-836-3733.
About Indian River Festival:
Presented by the Confederation Bridge, the Indian River Festival offers a summer long series of concerts in a magnificent heritage church located in idyllic rural Prince Edward Island. The internationally recognized Festival has been twice named by the Globe and Mail as one of the best summer music festivals in Canada and presents outstanding performances from a dynamic mix of some of the biggest names in Canadian music and exciting emerging talents. Now entering its 25th season in 2021, this summer-long festival attracts thousands of music lovers annually to the acoustically perfect St. Mary’s Church, idyllically set overlooking beautiful Malpeque Bay, to experience the very best in folk, blues, jazz, classical, traditional, contemporary, and world music.