Uxbridge’s Springtide Music Festival evolves in the face of COVID-19 restrictions.
After two fantastic years celebrating music and community in downtown Uxbridge, COVID-19 restrictions hit Springtide Music Festival like a brick wall. At first, the festival–initially scheduled for early May–was simply postponed to October, but as the number of cases continued to rise into the summer months, it became evident that Springtide 2020 would not be happening in its current form and was going to have to evolve in order to survive.
“We wanted to keep Springtide relevant and stay top-of-mind while also providing support to the community in some way,” says Tania Joy Senior, Project Coordinator (and more) for the festival.
As summer heated up, the Springtide team worked to bring value to Uxbridge at large by sending weekly newsletters to their email subscribers featuring spotlights on local musicians, artists, businesses, and community initiatives that were working to help others, such as Connecting in Uxbridge Township and Uxbridge Helping Hands.
The Show Must Go On
The team had already done so much planning, so when it became clear that an October festival wasn’t in the cards either, they pivoted their perspective, and the idea of Springtide Presents was born: a series of live outdoor performances at various partner venues with enough space for social distancing. The series ran throughout the autumn months and was a massive success in bringing together well-known (and well-loved) local musicians like Tamara Williamson, Matt Gunn, and Tania Joy herself, with businesses like Corner House Pub & Grill, Wixan’s Bridge, and Banjo Cider.
“It was disappointing (to have to cancel the full festival),” Tania says, “but we were happy to help get some music out there.”
Fortunately, Springtide’s infrastructure has remained strong despite these difficult times.
“None of our sponsors pulled out, and a lot of the venues still wanted to participate, no matter what that looked like,” Tania says.
In fact, even most of the ticket holders opted to either hang onto their tickets for next year or simply take the loss on this year’s ticket, with the plan to purchase new tickets when Springtide makes its triumphant return. It seems the spirit of community is alive and well in Uxbridge.
Of course, Tania remains “cautiously optimistic” for the festival’s future. Will the bands they booked for 2020 still be available? Will the bands still even be together? Will all of the venues still be around next year? Will more of them have moved to smaller spaces to save their businesses, like Nexus Coffee.
Planning for all potential future outcomes is essential, she explains, because “it can’t all be ‘wait and see.'” With their budget still intact, Springtide is ready to rock regardless of the future form it might take.
“We really want there to be something to look forward to when this is all over,” Tania says.
Whether it’s the full weekend-long festival in all its glory, small batches of indoor shows over longer stretches of time, more pop-up-outdoor-physically-distanced shows, or drive-in style setups, Springtide has already become an Uxbridge fixture in its short life and will remain so for many years to come thanks to the “hustle and agility” of its dedicated and passionate team.
While it’s unclear whether the festival-related pun was intended or not, Tania ends on a hopeful note: “We’re all just rolling with the tide right now.”
Supporting Springtide’s Partners
While Springtide Presents is done for the winter, showing your support for the venues, sponsors, and performers is always in season! Here’s a selection to consider:
Traditional ciders made with all-natural ingredients, with a patio perfect for events of all kinds.
The Bridge Social
Café and meeting place turned boutique featuring locally-sourced goods.
Blue Barn Creative
Gifts, clothing, and home items with a quirky, personalized twist.
Blue Heron Books A little bookstore with a big selection and home to the Book Drunkard Literary Festival, which went virtual this year.
Col. McGrady’s Pub & Grill
Cozy neighbourhood pub with daily specials available for takeout.
Corner House Pub & Grill
Lively pub and venue offering daily takeout specials.
A talented architecture team providing a diverse range of skills and services.
Passionate Cook’s Bistro & Essentials
Sophisticated bistro and boutique offering kitchenware and gourmet foods to go.
Bright, beautiful gallery featuring artists from Uxbridge and afar.
Second Wedge Brewing Co.
Brewery and venue championing local ingredients, artists, and cyclists.
Classy, modern restaurant serving daily takeout and ready-to-go Sunday Family Dinners.
Wixans Bridge Restaurant
Classic pub offering limited seating for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.
High-quality clothing and accessories with friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Durham Region-Based Artists
Trio trading off on vocal leads and harmonies, performing an acoustic blend of folk, blues, and roots rock originals and covers.
Folky, laid-back songstress.
All that Madders
Jazzy, bluesy singer/songwriter.
Band of Weeds
Folk and indie rock made by friends, for friends.
Accomplished fingerstyle guitarist based in Uxbridge.
Traditional folk, rock, and indie with meaningful lyricism and modern production techniques.
Cassidy De Freitas
Laid-back indie alternative.
Dual electric ukuleles performing original songs with experimental harmonies.
Rhythmic, pure-hearted folk.
Engaging, high energy rock.
Sweet acoustic folk featuring guitar and ukulele.
Sultry, genre-defying vocalist.
Cinematic dark pop featuring haunting melodies.
Soulful, gritty folk with a punk rock edge.
Funky, jazzy, upbeat multi-instrumentalist.
Unique live looping setup featuring guitar, bass, synth, and vocals.
Simple, vulnerable, and honest acoustic singer/songwriter.
Edgy acoustic lap steel embracing traditions of blues, country, and rockabilly.
Quirky, honest country artist, newly signed to Warner Music Nashville thanks to Tik Tok!
Soulful vocalist performing a variety of genres.
Sweet alterna-rock serenades.
Wavy Dave Haines
Acoustic blues and roots in a variety of styles.
Accomplished jazz singer/songwriter performing an eclectic mix of standards, modern covers, and playful, sultry originals.
Four-piece art-folk ensemble rising in the ranks of the Canadian music scene.
Agile Manufacturing Inc.
Canada’s largest 3D printing service bureau, with services ranging from engineering and design to production and distribution.
Durham Region’s authority on what to do, where to go, what to eat, where to stay, and more.
Music production, rehearsal space, live sound design, artist management, and equipment rentals all in one convenient location.
James Campbell Insurance Broker Ltd.
Providing independent insurance solutions since 1978, with locations in Uxbridge and Mount Albert.
Rotary Club of Uxbridge
A group dedicated to a wide range of community projects all year ‘round, always interested in new members.
Stacy Kearley Re/Max Allstars Realty
Dedicated realtor specializing in Farm and Land, Investments, Lake/Beach Property, and Horse Property all over Durham Region.
Take Root Creative
Start-to-finish business solutions, including brand design, website building, print, and digital marketing, and social media management.
Techstar Plastics Inc.
Producers of proprietary material handling products, commercial recycling containers, and dock floats produced in-house with rotational moulding machines.