RECAP – Music PEI May Run Music Festival #MRMF2016

Brad Machry at Music PEI Awards
Brad Machry presents the MusicPEI Award for Event Of The Year (2016) – Photo by Patricia Bourque
The May Run Music Festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island ran from May 18-22, 2016 and featured 60 local acts in venues city-wide. It ran alongside the Canadian Song Conference’s workshops, panel discussions, and the incredible Canadian Song Challenge which paired Island-resident songsmiths with songwriters from other provinces in 48 hours of co-writing, recording and mastering madness.

As a delegate invited to speak on contract details in a panel with Cymba Music Publishing‘s president Vincent Degiorgio and manager of local breakthrough artist The East Pointers, Tim Des Islets, I was in good company. 35 delegates in all were present to perform, speak, teach or network at the beautifully restored Rodd Charlottetown in the heart of the city’s entertainment hub. Supported by sponsors, but organized entirely by Music PEI‘s core staff and numerous on-call or volunteer associates, the festival and conference ran smoothly from bow to stern.

Throughout the weekend we were getting updates from the CBC Searchlight while we awaited news of native son Dylan Menzie‘s results after cracking the top 4 nationally. He was a part of the 4-pair songwriting conference, partnered with Ontario’s KASHKA (Kat Burns). The other pairings were Hey Rosetta’s Kinley Downling with Tim Chaisson, Carleton Stone with Brianna Gosse, and the dynamic powerballad duo of Dennis Ellsworth and Andy Brown (link below w/ video). The songs that resulted from these match-ups were truly exceptional and ranged from traditional singer/songwriter sound, to pop radio, hard rock and edgy electronica. As delegates, we found ourselves exited about the varied applications of these songs and certainly more than a couple business arrangements were made on the strength of the results.

Through the evening and into the night you never had to wander far to catch all the shows. Because of the close knit downtown core that Charlottetown offers sure, but also because of the great programming by the festival. In some cases I missed artists I had promised to see because of how deep the repertoire ran but there was also the opportunity to stumble on something unexpected, as I did during a young-artists’ showcase at The Guild and the stand-out voice of 18-year old Emma Doucette.

In the time I have to write this, there will always be something unintentionally left out about the seemingly endless talent sourced from such a small insulated place like P.E.I. and the Canadian Maritimes, so instead I’ll let you share in the bounty.

Check out these three samples of the enormous talent showcased throughout the festival:

Andy Brown

Ashley Condon

The Royal North

You can also see a live video of The Royal North on CBC’s Recap of May Run which includes all the MusicPEI Award winners.