This year has been incredibly challenging for all music festivals, and Ontario’s Festival of Small Halls (FOSH) is no exception. Run by the team behind Bluesfest, FOSH brings big performers to small venues in small towns near Ottawa.
With pandemic restrictions being observed at all venues for the 2020 festival, shows will be limited to 50 audience members, so if you see someone you love on the list of performers, you’ll want to get your tickets ASAP. Several shows have already sold out, though you can sign up for a waitlist in the event of cancellations). Tickets and waitlist signups are available here.
“With F.O.S.H., the original notion was to provide folks in rural areas an opportunity to enjoy the kind of music that’s usually offered in a bigger city, but in their own unique venues,” says Mark Monahan, the event’s executive director. “The growing support we’ve received from so many communities in recent years has been amazing—the way folks welcome the visiting artists is heartwarming—and you can see it means a lot to the musicians, too. For 2020, we feel we’ve taken it to the next level, with an outstanding line-up, while keeping safety measures foremost in mind.”
The Almonte Old Town Hall
- Hawksley Workman w/ Johnny Shay, Oct. 9
- Tom Wilson, Oct. 10
- Tim Baker, Oct. 11 (matinee)
Seeley’s Bay Community Hall
- The Abrams, Oct. 16
- Devin Cuddy w/ Johnny Shay, Oct. 17
Manotick United Church
- NQ Arbuckle, Oct. 23
- Kelly Prescott w/ Jessica Mitchell, Oct. 24
- Great Lake Swimmers, Oct. 25 (matinee)
St. John’s United Church, Brockville:
- Ben Caplan, Oct. 29
- Hannah Georgas w/ Theo Tams, Oct. 30
- Wild River, Oct. 3
The Festival of Small Halls will take place from October 9 to 31 at venues in Almonte, Seeley’s Bay, Manotick, and Brockville. Organizers say audiences will be limited to a maximum of 50 people. Visit ontariosmallhalls.com or more information about safety precautions, the full lineup and schedule. Tickets are only available online and cost $56–67 plus taxes and fees.