The Riverfront Jubilee creates legacy event in memory of Carlton Munroe and a 19+ festival site
The Riverfront Jubilee board of directors is implementing new changes to this year’s event, including making the three-day festival a 19+ site, and introducing a new family and youth-centered event in honour of the festival’s late executive director, Carlton Munroe.
The unanimous decision came after the board solicited feedback via survey from patrons, which resulted in over 450 responses, in addition to extensive discussions and reflection on past events over the festival’s twenty-three year history.
The board is pleased to announce Carlton’s Community Bash, a legacy event honouring Munroe, former promoter and executive director of the Jubilee, who lost his battle with Glioblastoma in 2017. Munroe served on as executive director for nine years, and had a clear vision of evolving the festival over time, all while working towards celebrating local talent and focusing on patron experience.
“Carlton loved the Jubilee, and he was always so excited to make each year even bigger and better than the year before,” says 2019 Riverfront Jubilee volunteer Board of Directors chairperson, Janine Linthorne. “Making the Jubilee bigger and better meant, not only, looking at who’s on the main stage, but taking a hard look at the site, and how we can improve the function, safety and festival experience for our patrons.”
“We know that despite our efforts with properly trained and staffed security underage patrons coming to the grounds under the influence and loitering off-site in the downtown core were issues we needed to address. The overall number of patrons 19 and under on-site year-after-year has been quite low. We’re proud to offer an event that not only supports local musicians, but provides a safe space for those 19 and under to enjoy the Jubilee as well.”
Manager of Carlton's Community Bash, Ian Grant said, “We are thrilled to honour Carlton’s memory in a way that was so near-and-dear to him by highlighting and celebrating our local and up and coming artists. The Jubilee has such a fantastic reputation and has seen so many incredible acts go on to celebrated and successful careers. It’s especially encouraging to create that space that’s welcoming to all ages, and ensuring that those 19 and under, and families have a chance to take in the Jubilee.”
Members of the youth music community are also excited about the opportunity brought about through this new community event, “Music has been bringing families and communities together since the beginning of time and Carlton spent his life doing just that,” says Heather Thomson, manager of local youth band, Hangman. “As manager and mom to 2/3 of Hangman, is exciting to see an amalgamation of the three free community events; Kids Jube, Songwriters Circle and the youth stage. I believe that this new format will allow upcoming, young entertainers, like Hangman, to showcase their talents for a larger crowd. I picture it as an event that will grow year after year, in both entertainment and attendance.”
In recent years the Jubilee has seen a decrease in paid attendance for patrons under 19. On average, only four percent of paid attendees have been under the age of 19, the festival saw a drop to just two percent of patrons under the age of 19 in 2018. The change to a 19+ event is common for festivals and concerts, and is focused on patron safety.
This change also affects the overall patron experience including an upgraded VIP experience and access to additional food vendors. Site feedback received through the patron experience survey highlighted the desire for an upgraded VIP experience, more food vendors, and an overall more aesthetically pleasing site. The change to a 19+ site creates space for a variety of food vendors with a seating area. VIP patrons will now be able to enjoy front-stage access, a private food truck, access to a multiple cash bars, upgraded and additional seating, and access to private portable washrooms.
The 19 plus age restriction comes into effect for the 2019 festival weekend which takes place August 2-4. More details on Carlton’s Community Bash, the 2019 headliners, and early bird ticket sales are scheduled to be announced in early spring.