Around 400 people enjoyed some live music and made many memories at the second BeetBox Farm Music Festival.
The festival began in the early afternoon on Sept. 30 and lasted until midnight. It featured 16 local acts showcased on two handmade stages.
The festival’s visionary, Thomas Boyce, is an Ottawa high school teacher with a passion for music. He started the project with one goal: to create a place where his community could enjoy live music with friends.
Over the years, Boyce had built connections with local farmers and worked with them to make the
BeetBox Farm a perfect venue. With the help of friends and volunteers, they prepared the space, mowed lawns, crafted stages and built outhouses.
He curated the lineup from his own network of musicians and bands he had seen live, then he added good food, drinks and other amenities to create a festival to remember.
Festivalgoers are welcomed by a handmade sign as they make their way up the farm’s long gravel driveway. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
A rustic barn stands opposite the entrance, while a makeshift food court fills an open field to the right. The air is filled with the aroma of pulled pork and poutine. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Mr. Norms Gourmet Express food truck served some Canadian street food, while Scotty’s Corner Diner offered hot sandwiches. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Thirsty festival-goers chose from a selection of drinks crafted by Kichesippi Brewery and Dunrobin Distillery. Non-alcoholic drinks were available from the Wind Camp Kids Tiki Bar. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
People of all ages gather near the barn with camping chairs and blankets in tow, eagerly anticipating a performance. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
The PowerNaps take the ‘Barn U’ stage, playing some alternative rock. Earlier in the day, this stage saw performances by The Syntones and Jamboise and The Woodsmen. Later, Slo’ Tom and Otis Strange performed, and Ras Lee and the Vibes Band wrapped up the stage’s entertainment. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Better Living Through Chemistry completes its sound check at the ‘Chicken Coop’ stage. The rock band followed earlier performances by Children of Indigo, XO Point and Miss Addiction. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
After his earlier performance, Matt Moodie of XO Point conducted sound checks for both stages. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Lead singer Luigi Saracino belts out Better Living Through Chemistry’s setlist. The performer transitioned between the stage and grassy area to engage the crowd. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Thomas Boyce [right] paused to savour the moment amid his management duties. Throughout the day, he oversaw every aspect of the event, ensuring performers, attendees and vendors had everything they needed. He had also performed earlier with his band, Jamboise and the Woodworkers. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Better Living Through Chemistry wrapped its set at the Chicken Coop, leaving the stage for performances by Red Light Run and Tin Constellations. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Community member Gabor Szokoli stoked a crackling fire. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
As the sun set, the crowd gathered back at the barn for the next set. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]
Slo’ Tom opened with, “Get off the f*****g Queensway”, a playful ode to Ottawa’s bad drivers. The crowd joined in, laughing at his clever lyrics. Away from the barn, Boyce took a moment to reflect, and said, “I’m absolutely amazed at what we accomplished here.” [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]