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Canada’s premiere songwriters gather at Northern Lights, July 4-7 2019

Canada’s premiere songwriters gather at Northern Lights, July 4-7 2019

Canada’s premiere songwriters gather at Northern Lights, July 4-7 2019
48th festival places an emphasis on lyrics & message

Sudbury, ON—July 4-7 will mark the 48th annual Northern Lights Festival Boréal in Sudbury, ON. Over the years, the festival has become known internationally for its eclectic programming and atmosphere. The festival has announced an impressive roster of 40+ artists and over 100 performances, taking place on the shores of beautiful Lake Ramsey. Headliners include: Sam Roberts Band, K’NAAN, Bedouin Soundclash, and Basia Bulat. These iconic names are supported by an exciting roster of festival acts, exploring folk, indie, rock, hip-hop, Latin, experimental, family and beyond.

“There’s always a real mix in the programming,” says Executive/Artistic Director Max Merrifield, “but this year we wanted to highlight artists who use lyrics and song composition in a variety of effective and inspiring ways. Whether folk, rock, hip-hop or pop – many of these artists display true craftsmanship when combining lyrics with melody and rhythm.


Canadian rock icons Sam Roberts Band headline Thursday, July 4th of the festival. These 6x Juno winners have garnered fans worldwide, writing unforgettable tunes, and delivering explosive live shows.

Somali-Canadian musician K’NAAN, headlines Friday July 5th, bringing his blend of hip-hop, African styles, pop, rock and beyond. Perhaps best known for his smash hit ‘Waving Flag’ (Coca Cola’s 2010 World Cup anthem), K’NAAN will be making his first appearance in Sudbury.

Bedouin Soundclash headlines Saturday, July 6th, most widely known for their 2008 hit ‘When The Night Feels my Song’. Currently based in Toronto, the band has put together a fantastic catalog of 5 albums, which explore reggae, rock, soul, pop, and beyond.

Juno & Polaris nominated artist Basia Bulat headlines Sunday, July 7th. Though her sound is all her own, it can best be described as a unique ‘folk-pop’, with songs covering love, loss and life.


William Prince is a Juno winning singer-songwriter whose music is full of emotionally charged experiences that linger in memories. Recorded in just ten days throughout 2015, William alongside producer/collaborator Scott Nolan,


created his full-length debut album, Earthly Days. He garnered honours such as Aboriginal Artist of the Year at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year at the 2017 Junos. In a full circle moment, he inducted Bruce Cockburn into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and earned praise from not just Cockburn, but fellow inductee Neil Young. “People have to come out and see this guy in person,” says Executive/Artistic Director Merrifield, “the entire venue is overtaken by a quiet electricity when he plays. The power these songs can have on a record or in a live setting is just amazing.”

Francophone singer-songwriter Safia Nolin will also appear at the festival, in concert and workshops. With her dark, folk-inspired songs, Nolin won over fans and critics alike, winning the Félix for Female Artist of the Year at the 2017 ADISQ Gala, one year after being named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the same gala. Whether singing her own songs or covering Quebecois classics, she guides us through her unique universe.

Boogát is a Mexican-Canadian artist from Montreal, blending hip-hop with Latin styles such as cumbia, salsa and reggaetón. His album Neo-Reconquista won the Juno and Félix award for World Music Album of the Year at the      2016 Juno Awards and the ADISQ gala, respectively. His latest album, San Cristóbal Baile Inn was just released in 2017. “SUPER excited to finally have Boogàt at the festival,” says Executive/Artistic Director Merrifield, “He navigates all these genres seamlessly, and he just continues to evolve as an artist.”

Zeus is a Toronto-based Canadian indie rock band signed to the Arts & Crafts record label. The band has released three albums since 2009, has been Polaris nominated and has headlined Toronto’s Massey Hall. The band has also served as the backing band for Canadian musician Jason Collett.

For those travelling to get a bit of ‘that festival feeling’, there are affordable camping and hotel accommodation packages available. NLFB is again partnering with Mine Mill Campground to offer off-site camping, with shuttle  service to the festival site daily. Clarion Hotel Sudbury is the festival’s official hotel sponsor, partnering to offer 2, 3, and 4 day hotel packages, bundled with Full Festival Passes. Organizers are even offering bus packages, targeted    at residents of North Bay and Sturgeon Falls – two major communities in the area.

NLFB prides itself on offering a little something for everybody. Whether a family expedition, or a party weekend with  friends, a getaway at Northern Lights is an immersive experience guaranteed to please. Tickets and festival  information can be found at or by calling 705-674-5512.

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