Variety of music performed at Muddy Water festival
Rapper Blu gives Becky Meekis a special seat during one of his performances.
DJ Ken G performing.
The crowd at this year’s Muddy Water Music Festival during Blu’s performance.
Musicians from all walks of life descended upon Sandy Lake First Nation for the 32nd annual Muddy Water Music Festival (MWMF).
This year’s festival, which ran from July 30 to Aug. 2, included out of town acts like Big River, Saskatchewan rapper Blu, Norway House’s Drink Me Pretty, and tribute artists for Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, as well as Gary Kehoe as Johnny Cash.
Sharness Henry, guitarist for Drink Me Pretty, told Wawatay News that this was the band’s third time playing at MWMF.
“It’s our third time back at the festival, and it was better than ever,” Henry said.
Henry said that the band saw familiar faces in Sandy Lake, and also met a lot of new people.
“The Muddy Water Music Festival is a festival filled with warmth and good-hearted people,” Henry said. She explained that she liked the varieties of musical genres at the festival, which ranged from styles like heavy metal rock, to country, and to rap.
“As musicians, we never put each other down and always push each other to be the greatest,” Henry said.
This year’s MWMF featured acts like Wass Clearwater from Manitoba, Free Admission, and Contraband. The festival also showcased local acts like Rez Metal, Rat House, Deafening, Bear Paws, Lil Lucan, These Kids, and DJ Ken G.
Roy Kakegamic, who works at Sandy Lake Community Development Services as the economics development officer, said that the group Contraband was comprised of musicians over the age of 60.
“One of the reasons we got them was because of the fact of their age, that they’re still playing,” Kakegamic said. He explained that one year, the festival featured a band whose members were kids ages 10-13 years old from Kenora. “So this time, we went to the other end of the spectrum and got the other guys (in Contraband).”
Kakegamic said that they recruited a few people to help out with emceeing the event.
“We are trying to encourage young people to get used to public speaking, to be able to talk in public and convey the messages to the community members,” Kakegamic stated.
Kakegamic said he was happy with this year’s MWMF.
“It went pretty good, it went well. We were blessed with no rain this year, so that was good,” he said. “And they liked Blu. The kids liked Blu quite a bit.”
Henry said that it was great to see the crowds, especially the children.
“It’s always nice to see the children (in the crowd) filled with excitement, wanting to be on that stage some day,” she said. “Muddy Water Music Festival is surely a place to come back to. It’s always a great time.”
Kakegamic said that while helping the Lady Gaga tribute artist find some moccasins to purchase, he spoke to an Elder who talked about how she enjoyed the Gary Kehoe tribute to Johnny Cash, who played an earlier show around 5 p.m.
Kakegamic said that next year they would be planning on having earlier shows for the Elders to attend, with members of Wass Clearwater letting him know that they can also play Gospel music.
“We would like to add that (the early shows) next year,” Kakegamic said.
He also said that they would be looking into having another children’s entertainer, something the festival had been lacking for a couple of years.
Kakegamic said that they have singer-songwriter Fred Penner on stand-by as a potential entertainer next year, but it is a matter of waiting to work out details with chief and council first.
Kakegamic coordinated this year’s festival with the help of Joe Fiddler, Delores Kakegamic, Joshane Fiddler, Robinson Goodman, Danny Linklater, Ozzie Kakepetum, Darrin Fiddler, and Alex Fiddler.
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