Taking over the town of Bengough last weekend, the 15th annual Gateway Festival is in the books and being hailed a success.

Executive Director Michael Dawson said the success of the festival is thanks to their 300 volunteers.

"There's so many moving pieces. It's just the genuine kindness of that community and how hard those volunteers work and are still working through this week, sort of building and taking down that site and stuff, that, you know, 15 years on and it's a pretty well-oiled machine but it's still an enormous amount of work so I truly can't thank them all enough."

Official gate numbers are not in yet but Dawson said he thinks the festival was better attended than the past year or two, which brought in about 2,000 people to Bengough for the weekend music festival.

In previous years, weather or power issues have cropped up but, all-in-all, Dawson said the festival this year went off without a hitch.

"We got some very kind emails from many of the artists. They really appreciated the Saskatchewan hospitality," said Dawson. "They were really happy with the crowds and stuff."

KJ Jansen, lead singer of Chixdiggit, was one of many artists who performed at the Gateway Festival this year. He said this was his Calgary-based band's fourth time playing at the festival and they really enjoy bringing their families with them to the family-friendly event.

"All of my experience in Saskatchewan has been playing music but we started coming out to this Gateway Festival in Bengough, which is incredible, and we camp out here."

gw mainstageMain Stage at the festival (photo by Jennifer LaCharite).

"People from Saskatchewan have a sense of humour that you can see a mile away," said Jansen. "There is a distinct, extra special, extra sharp wit that you don't see in other parts of the country."

Many local people attended the festival in Bengough, with some camping at Bengough Regional Park.

Over 30 performances took place between the Garden Stage and Main Stage at the festival, which took place July 26 to 28. The headliners included Trooper and Kim Mitchell on Friday night, and Charlie Major and Michelle Wright on Saturday night. There was also a car show, art display, and a parade during the weekend.

Some of the money brought in at the festival this year will be used to assist the town of Bengough and surrounding area. Last year funds were handed over to help build a new playground in the community.

gw kiraisabellaJuno award-winning Kira Isabella hit the Main Stage on Saturday evening before Michelle Wright (photo by Jennifer LaCharite).


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