The Wake the Giant music festival is returning in 2020 with tickets already available online.
Co-organizer Sean Spenrath said they plan to unveil this year’s lineup in the spring, but fans can expect the same mix of Canadian acts, including Indigenous artists. The event is part of a larger ongoing effort to help the community embrace Indigenous youth.
The inaugural festival, which took place in September, saw 4,000 people attend, which Spenrath said was a huge surprise.
“Seeing the kids in the crowd that day or even on the stage, you could tell by their smiles how much they enjoyed it,” he said. “So to be able to announce we’re doing it again, they’re super excited about it.”
Friday’s announcement included a performance from a student-led band at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School; the students performed an original song they wrote in their music class and Spenrath said he hopes to see them on the Wake the Giant stage on Sept. 19, 2020.
The music festival, which included acts Metric, July Talk, Wolf Saga and Coleman Hell, is part of a larger initiative started by Spenrath and other DFC teachers to create a more inclusive community in Thunder Bay.
More than 300 businesses have signed onto the project, putting Wake the Giant decals in their windows to let Indigenous youth know it’s a safe place and they are welcome.
Many of those businesses have also invited the students in for workshops, including the Sweet North Bakery, International House of Tea and Prime Gelato.
Spenrath said he believes people in the community have always been supportive of Indigenous students but Wake the Giant gives them a specific way to step up.
“I think the music festival has its place in that it provides excitement for the movement and it gains a lot of exposure for the movement but I think we have a lot of people with good hearts in the community,” he said.
Tickets are available at wakethegiant.ca for $50 or for $80, people can purchase a ticket for themselves and one that will be donated to an Indigenous youth.