Why Won’t Cornwall Ontario Support Live Music? Toronto Rocks Out at The Port Theatre

Toronto RED aug 9 2013CFN – So I went to three musical events in Cornwall this past week at three different venues.   All were under attended.  At least one of the gigs was heavily promoted so the question is “Does Cornwall Ontario support live music?”

While I get that different types of music attract different crowds the three events I caught this week all should have drawn larger crowds especially as two of them were free!

So many complain about a lack of entertainment; but then don’t support live acts when they’re present.   Even Lift Off was a dud this year.

And under inspiring crowds lead to promoters taking less risks and investing less in shows which becomes a circle of doom.

Friday night however a lot of people missed a great show at the Port Theatre which is starting to see a future as a live event venue as film crumbles.

The days of 500 seat movie houses may be over, but the sound in the Port holds a bright future and hopefully the day will be when this amazing venue sees at least 100 days per year of activity.  With the Aultsville Theatre (which the city funds for nearly $100K per year!) having less gigs the Port is the best venue right now for live entertainment available.

Toronto in Cornwall Aug 9 2013It’s amazing to see Holly Woods still hit those high notes and I was so close to the stage that more poor camera mike was a tad overloaded!

toronto 2 Aug 9 2013 in CornwallThose in attendance left smiling and happy as the enthusiastic crowd shouted at the band after each familiar hit echoed through the 70 year old theatre!

Lost boyz

Local 80’s Tribute Band Lost Boyz opened for Toronto the night before they hit Ribfest in Brockville.  The “boyz” did a great job delivering hit after hit to warm up the crowd!

Next up at the Port is a Country tribute to George Jones on August 30th.

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  1. The reason why nobody turns out is we don t get decent live music here unless its washed up old bands just say n

  2. The only thing worse than 80’s bands are 80’s cover bands. Perhaps that is why the turnout was less than stellar.

  3. Author

    GAB I should point out the other two events were not 80’s music related. Heck, I went to Kelsey’s to catch Graham Greer perform for free one night on the patio and people left when the music started. It wasn’t because of Mr. Greer’s performance; but where was the public? I mean it was on their billboard on Brookdale!

  4. August is a favourite time for people to take vacations. Judging by some of the posts on FB there were many people enjoying some adventure out of town. I personally (as well as many others) enjoyed some warm hospitality and live music on the new Mocktails patio at the Civic Complex. Another factor to consider is the many events happening every week-end in the summer and the area population that spread themselves across these events.

  5. I agree with Jacqueline here as I also had a full weekend planned with other family events already scheduled and am sorry to miss these concerts but I cannot be everywhere and my family comes first.

  6. People say there is nothing to do in Cornwall, and then events like these are under attended…
    Even free events are under attended, or not attended at all.

    Cornwall is a World of Possibilities,
    one of which is community crushing public antipathy.

    It is a huge challenge turning that around…

  7. Maybe they are trying to cater to the older people to much and by that I mean all the classic rock people , big band, oldies. I grew up listening to it with my parents but now in my mid 30’s I could care less about them and would not pay to see a bunch a senior aged rock gods play. It’s a sad thing to see a lot of them still performing.

    Maybe some new music aimed at the middle aged and younger crowds. Younger people will travel from all over to see the bands they want and are willing to blow the money on the shows. Old people won’t.

    Cornwall really needs to change it’s older mentality and maybe have younger people involved in the planning the big events.

  8. It is the musty theater and the infantile promoters. Amateurs….and it shows.

  9. Cutting-edge, groundbreaking music is seldom brokered by established talent agencies. Most unproven artists (groups) spend a considerable amount of their creative energies finding alternative venues and concepts to present their music. This DIY ethic is the beginning of success for many, eventually established acts.
    A note to Cornwall musicians – don’t wait for the establishment to recognize your merits. Take control of your own career arc by initiating your audience through social networking and imaginative performance settings.
    “It’s a long way to the top if you want to …”

  10. I have to agree with everything said. When I saw the headline I thought “Wow! Toronto was in Cornwall? Love that band back in the day” but then I thought “would I have paid to go see them? No..I don’t think so. I’ll just scroll through my phone to listen to ‘Your Daddy Don’t Know’ and remenisce and I’ll be over it.”

    So what would I go to the Port to see? Possibly a bunch of acts, like a festival. Maybe some comedy. Maybe a classic movie double-bill or festival. But not a band that would have been better suited for La Maison in a bar atmosphere.

    I suspect the people who own the Port are trying to be the next Barrymore’s. But you’re going to need much bigger acts who are just on the cusp of becoming huge.

    By the way, the promotion for Toronto must have been week because I had no idea they were in town.

    My 2 cents.

  11. Read this thread and thought I’d throw in my 2 cents. Cornwall, has always been extremely jaded when it comes to local artists. I heard mention of new music but I think that is not always true as bands like Down With Webster are pretty “new” and they also were under attended. The problem with Cornwall, in my opinion is that we have a ton of great bands and people take for granted just how good the talent is here. I always tell new bands that if you can “make it” in Cornwall, you’ll do fine everywhere else. When it comes to my band, “Trench Town Oddities”, I try to limit the amount of local shows for a few reasons. One, the old adage of you get what you pay for especially is true to Cornwall – Cornwall bars, for the most part, don’t pay all that well. I can tell you that when we play anywhere other then in town, we are treated like Kings – there are exceptions in town and they know who they are but for the most part we’re treated like the bar is doing us a favour for letting us play at their establishment. Entertainment on any level is a two way street with bars/clubs, both the act and the establishment have to make it an event and let people know, otherwise no one cares … but I digress… the second reason we don’t play all that much around here is that Cornwall music fans are like Cornwall restaurant fans- they love new restaurants and will go there religiously until a new one pops up and then they hop over to the new one. Same things applies for bands. think about that for a second … There is money is the community but I think that only plays a small part in people going out. I true think that the main reason people don’t go out to shows (or few ones) is they just don’t care. Everyone can download their favourite band to their iPhone and watch the concerts right on their phones. Unless there’s something extra (ie. ribs) people really aren’t that interested. And because the acts in town are exceptionally good (and trust me, we play all over [Can & USA] and our community is extremely lucky to have as many great acts as we do) you’d think they’d take pride in that fact. Unfortunately its quite the opposite. Its pretty sad, anyone who’s made anything for themselves have had to leave the city (most usually returning to live once they’ve ‘made it’ – Legs Leger is a great example). Nothing will ever change, its been the same for the last 20 years, putting on a show in our hometown of Cornwall is always a crap shot but what the hell, we love it here! So what the hell, who ever comes out will always get a killer show no matter the size of the crowd, its just comes down to whether or not the band/promoter will make enough to pay rent or not….

    Sean Harley, Trench Town Oddities

  12. Author

    Thanks Sean. Your commitment to our city and music is awesome! We need a few more Sean Harley’s 🙂

  13. Well I am one of those promoters that is taking a chance on the people of Cornwall. I am bringing in in The Legends of Rock and Country Show on Saturday November 9th to Aultsville Theatre.
    This is the first time I have brought a show to Cornwall and would like to bring in many more. Hope to see you there

    Steve Ciesielski
    Celsk Benefit Promotions

  14. this is not good its a growing problem if music venues contoniue to shut down and can events music stores will suffer the whole chain will suffer muscians buy instrmunts if they stop buying instruments the stores goo out of bussines if the stores go out of business that speels disaster no more live entertainment the music stores count on mucians to buy equipment to keep them afloat when you destroy and disamble the very foundations of a business it goes up in smoke there for buy shuting venues your not just hurting muscians your killing the very people who proveid business the indrusty is in shambles enough as it is are we really going to deliver the final blow and say fuck music enterainment
    lets stop think for a minute why do we go to see bands why do we purchase music because we love it music is our pastime if were really serious about this then its going to be awful kids wont even have a chance at having a career if they have no hope there wont be any more rock stars u might as well and a lot of people now play music as a hobby well what used to be able to have a carreer a dream is now a luxary if you have a job and can buy instruments and at the end of the day play and have fun you won welcome to the music age wear everybody plays for free and fun people use youtube to interact now feel free to comment on this in 20 years time nobody will be going to rock concerts .
    times are changing don’t belive a word I say look around you its getting expensive its a luxary three words a musician and anbody wjo want s to pursue a carreer in music you better learn to adapt to change roll with the times whats poplour right now wont be in five years down the road its always been about whats trending right now ethier we get on borad with change train or we get left behind if venues contuie to close its spells disaster and the hard part is bars charge to much money for the service so do bands go back to having bands charging fans 10 dollars for tickets if the cost going up this is what will happen fans will say fuck yous I’m not paying that much to go to your show all in all like a lot of other people I argee its getting diculus maybe music should be free fuck paying ridiculous amounts of money its wrong either be reasonable or do it for free frees good lots of artists do it free now days free is the future but don’t listen to what I have say after all I’m just like you a musician and a fan of music I just look at it and go fuck that that’s to bad this sucks what happened to being reasonable this day in age your better off play with friends and having fun at partys forget about having a star career in it its just not their anymore that was our parents and granparents time enjoy going to the old rockstars concerts who are still playing enjoy it cause they wont be around a lot longer there in there 70s health is delcing all I can say is get out there and enjoy it while their are still rocking cause when there gone all will have is there recordings and concert videos and memroys sincerily yours music fan

  15. Hi, I believe the reason no one shows up at the events because they are actually not at all being marketed, or marketed properly. I can’t even find anything about the Fires and Live music that happens every weekend at Nav Can’s sports bar. Let alone anything related to the Port I just herd for the first time ever a couple weeks ago that they were doing it.

  16. The PORT could advertise right here on Cornwall’s most accessed media site… but city hall would pull permits and shut them down in no time. City hall’s vendetta and retaliation against critics is Cornwall’s undoing.

    A corrupt city government and administration content to cut off its nose to spite its face… will never see an honest venture succeed.

  17. Author

    Simon CFN was donating ad space to help the Port. I was told that they would not get their liquor permit unless they dropped those ads. Another Cornwall “success” story 🙂

  18. I’m looking for a promoter in Cornwall…or one near …who wants to see some metal in Cornwall!

  19. Author

    Sorry Metal. Cornwall doesn’t really have any promoters. Mostly wannabees who can’t do much more for you than you could do for yourself. IE they rent a venue ( or do door splits) and put up a few notices for free on Facebook. It’s really sad and why we can’t seem to get anything much more than over priced cover bands in our live venues….

  20. As long as you have that dirty clique in Cornhole the town will continue to die and it is already dead as a rock. It is way too depressing to go down there and never again. You don’t get rid of that dirty clique who is destroying good people and the town then you deserve everything you get.

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