Real Love Summer Fest has traces of happy stretch marks from its immense growth spurt.
Gilad Carroll and Adam Soloway, founders of record company Real Love Winnipeg and artistic directors of the festival, say they are beaming about the growth.
They say the third installment of Real Love Summer Fest (RLSF) has almost outgrown its home in Gimli, a far cry from the first festival in Matlock in 2014.
“We definitely want to emerge as an exciting new festival that is trying to grow and become something really special. We thought the best way to do that was to make the best bill possible,” Carroll says.
Once a locals-only event, RLSF’s 2016 lineup includes bands from Montreal, Chicago and Amsterdam, in addition to the usual onslaught of Manitobans.
“Local music is direct insight into the creative minds of people who live around you. We obviously put tons of value in that,” Carroll says.
Showcasing local music remains important to the very fiber of the festival, according to Carroll and Soloway.
“I feel like we place a lot of emphasis on actually seeing all the bands and sitting there and taking in the music. We want everyone to be at the stage, seeing all these bands play,” Soloway says.
Carroll and Soloway note that other changes, such as after hours performances, art installations and tents to shelter festival-goers from the rain, also add fresh verve to the event.
Carroll says the festival is a place where Real Love Winnipeg’s many projects come together into a spectacle of good music and closely-knit community.
“Everyone’s on the same wavelength – they’re happy to be there and take it all in,” Carroll says.