There is something to be said about stumbling into a small uni town in the middle of Atlantic Canada with a thirst for craft beer and jazz and blues. Every September, New Brunswick’s capital Fredericton comes alive for five days of music and mayhem as some of the world’s best bluesmen, jazz masters and the odd thundering rock group set up camp among the tented stages and turn this picturesque town on the banks of the St John River into party central.
It is low key and cool, so much so, you might very well find yourself wandering past a barefoot Michael Franti, yoga mat under one arm, on his way to the park to meditate before headlining that evening.
Entertainment is everywhere and you’ll more often than not find yourself in a local pub with an extraordinary blues player jamming with friends all afternoon. It is very easy to settle in, especially with the excellent craft beer on hand. Picaroons and Grimross are hard to top.
When the sun goes down the big guns come out and the larger venues start to reverberate. The choices are vast, from the Cox & Palmer Blues Court to the loud and wild Mouse Light Blues Tent.
Sleep in late and don’t go too hard early as the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival is definitely one for stayers!