LASSO 2022 – Montreal’s Île Sainte-Hélène was a mosaic of cowboy hats, daisy dukes, big boots, and down-home country music this past weekend, as LASSO Montréal presented by Bell in collaboration with Coors Original, kicked off it’s very first edition to the delight of 35,000 fans looking for a countrified good time. Montreal’s Espace 67 at Parc Jean-Drapeau was home to a huge hoedown, announcing to the entire world that this city ranks as Canada’s new country capital.
LASSO, Canada’s only major country music festival in an urban setting, has been in the works since 2019, but due to the pandemic, it had to be postponed… until now. The first edition has now come and gone, and it was a success! Fans, young and old, veterans of the scene and newcomers alike, were wowed by the beautiful festival site (which was completely overhauled to welcome country fans), as well as a golden lineup of performers for fans of new country and all things twangy. Montreal has always been a hotbed of great music and festivals, and we love our country music, so fans were excited to take part in a new movement and be part of a community of country music lovers.
“We knew there was a community of country fans looking for a festival to call home”, says Nick Farkas (Senior Vice President, Booking, Concerts and Events, evenko),“ but the response from fans has been beyond our wildest dreams! We already can’t wait till next year!”
Saturday was a glorious day under sunny skies, with a dynamite performance from local artist Brittany Kennell, who got the crowd right into it. Festival ambassador, Matt Lang, delivered a set that puts him among the ranks of the best in the business; Breland had fun with the crowd, infusing hip-hop beats in his country swagger, while Ontario`s Tim Hicks was all about the whiskey, pedal steel & banjos, riffs, and searing guitar solos, ending his set with a huge crowd sing along! Canada`s The Reklaws had a surprise guest, Hab’s Nick Suzuki got on stage to down some shooters and festival-goers went wild! Riley Green‘s easygoing vibes went down perfectly with the fans. Kelsea Ballerini`s hotly anticipated performance, her first ever in Montreal, was proof positive that she is the future of pop country. Headliner Luke Bryan was grinning ear to ear, giving his adoring fans exactly what they came for – a hip shakin’ good time accentuated with mandolins, margaritas, and a little bit of that megastar magic, the perfect ending to the spectacular first edition of LASSO Montréal!
LASSO 2022 ambiance!
LASSO was a far cry from the dusty rodeos one might expect from a country festival – this was a state of the art experience with all the fixins fans have come to expect from evenko’s world class festivals, but with a country twist. The vibe was friendly and very family oriented, with areas to sit and chill in the shade all over the site, including hammocks hanging from trees, plenty of fun and games, art installations and random structures (with a distinctly southern feel), a giant kids area where the young’uns can frolick to the sweet sounds of country, and the incredible view of the Montreal skyline in the background from almost anywhere on the festival site. There were line-dances breaking out randomly in the crowd, singalongs, and a very easygoing feel to the festival. All the artists seemed so happy to be playing for the crowd (often going out of their way to interact and take selfies with fans) displaying a reverence for the live music experience, which was infectious!