It’s been a long ‘live’ coming

So Long, Bannatyne showcases Manitoba-based music

Boy Golden is one of the many local music acts taking the stage for So Long, Bannatyne at the Burton Cummings Theatre. (Supplied photo)

After being cancelled last year due to COVID-19, the So Long, Bannatyne music festival will be held on Nov. 20 at the Burton Cummings Theatre.

An event solely incorporating Manitoban acts playing local music, So Long, Bannatyne is an initiative from Assiniboine Credit Union and the Winnipeg Folk Festival to celebrate Manitoba 150. Described as a festival-meets-workshop experience, it will include live music and hosts leading the night.

“These workshops are basically jam sessions. For this event, we will have a house band, and we will have guest artists rotating through and performing,” Winnipeg Folk Festival artistic director Chris Frayer says.

The name of the festival is a reference to a classic 1971 Manitoban record by The Guess Who. The title was originally supposed to be So Long, Bannatyne, Hello Birds Hill Park, given that the celebration was set to happen during the 2020 edition of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Still, event planners decided to maintain half of it as an ode to local talent.

“There is a lot of music in Manitoba. We have a great history here, and sometimes we forget about the music in our own backyard, because we are so focused on international and national music,” he says.

johnny moonbeam & Friends will lead other artists in their brief interactive presentations. Joining them during the festival are Andrina Turenne, Boy Golden, Dana Waldie, Diaphanie, JP Hoe, Rayannah, Sebastian Gaskin and The Lytics.

“At the end of the night, they will all perform together. I think it’s going to be a fantastic evening of music. The rehearsals are doing great, and so much time has been put into this,” Frayer says.

Beyond the artists taking center stage, other local musicians will host the show. Among them are FONTINE, Joanna Miller and Sol James. Frayer emphasises that partaking in So Long, Bannatyne is a gesture of support after a rocky year for in-person events.

“We just really want people to come out and support Manitoba musicians who suffered so much through COVID-19, and the best way that people can support us is attending the event,” he says.

Boy Golden, one of the many artists involved in this project, is still adapting to playing onstage. After releasing his lo-fi debut album Church of Better Daze in July of this year, he’s had few chances to play his new tunes live alongside his band.

“We’ve been able to perform a couple shows in the fall, and it’s starting to feel normal. My band is heading out to Toronto on Nov. 11 to play a show there, and then we will head back to the Burt,” he says.

As part of the So Long, Bannatyne program, each artist involved must play an original track and an additional cover from the local music scene. The festival team sees this as a way to spotlight classic bands and artists within Manitoba whose music has inspired the work of emerging local musicians.

“I am doing one of the tracks off Church of Better Daze and a pretty cool song by a Manitoban artist from the 1940s. I didn’t know this before, but Bob Nolan, who is from the Sons of the Pioneers and is a super famous country writer, was born in Winnipeg. This was one piece of Winnipeg history that I got to know about,” he says.

Boy Golden is excited to join the house band (some members of which are his friends) and get a chance to collaborate with other artists in this all-around Manitoban music gettogether.

“It’s going to be an experiment for sure, and I am excited to see them all,” he says.

For people still uncomfortable with heading back to venues, So Long, Bannatyne will be livestreamed on Facebook and on YouTube through the Winnipeg Folk Festival social media accounts.

Audience members at the Burton Cummings Theatre on Nov. 20 must follow True North Sports and Entertainment’s COVID-19 protocols.

Tickets are available on for $37.50 each. For more information about the event, visit

Published in Volume 76, Number 09 of The Uniter (November 12, 2021)

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