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Hillside 2006

Another July has passed and so has another amazing Hillside Music Festival. This year was the 23rd anniversary of the festival, which sold out of weekend-passes in a mind-boggling 2 days. The secret is clearly out, but the festival has managed to keep to its roots and compromise nothing with the increased popularity.

If you're into folk, country, or increasingly indie rock, there is no greater summer festival in Ontario. The music selection is always top notch, this year featured the Constantines, Wintersleep, Sarah Harmer, The Stills, The Hidden Cameras, Feist, Final Fantasy, and too many more to continue naming names. I will however say that every year I discover an unbelievable artist I previously did not now about. Last year it was Xavier Rudd, and this year it was Montreal's punk band The Lovely Feathers.

One of the many remarkable things about Hillside is how relaxed everyone looks. This is in no doubt brought on at least in part by the flawless attention to detail that only comes with the experience of the Hillside organizers. Hillside has everything you could ask for, from well run free shuttle busses to the parking lot or Gulph, to lakes for swimming and camping, to unbelievable thai and indian food at reasonable prices. The festival goer has nothing to worry about except having a good time!

The affect is not just on the attendees. The bands are also noticeably more relaxed, experimenting more than normal, an example being when The Hidden Cameras decided to not only blind fold themselves, but also the crowd. Each year there are also wonderful collaborations between artists. This year there was an Unholy Alliance when The Sadies met the Constantines for an epic show.

There were too many amazing performances to even begin to mention them all. What was your favourite act?

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