The grounds are ready, camping sites are being prepared, artists and chefs are en route and the fire is about to start.
Actor/comedian Shaun Majumder and his group of organizers in Burlington, Middle Arm and Smith’s Harbour are gearing up for The Gathering this weekend, which kicks off Friday and ends on Sunday evening with a closing concert from the sister band, Ashelin.
Canadian rocker Sam Roberts and his band's lead guitarist, Dave Nugent, will headline Saturday night, even though the duo are billed as Minotaur, and promote themselves as "the best Sam Roberts cover band in the world."
“I think that shows that people are in for a fun show already,” says Jennifer Whelan, chairperson of The Gathering festival planning committee. "The guys are here to have fun and put off a good concert – they’re very down to earth and it’s going to be great seeing them in a smaller and more intimate setting.”
Whelan is leading a team of volunteers and staff who are working hard towards putting together one of the biggest event the region has ever seen. Some of the events are either sold out or almost sold out, and others are already double the pre-sales of what was sold last year.
One of the highlights of the weekend seems to be the "Shaun Majumder and Friends Funny Concert" on Friday night. Majumder is going to be joined by his "This Hour has 22 minutes" co-star, Mark Critch, as well as other Newfoundland and Labrador comedians Matt Wright and Colin Hollett. The comedy show sold out last year long before the festival even started.
Whelan says volunteers have been working diligently all week, and the committee has been planning behind the scenes since last year’s festival ended.
The purpose of their work is to help support the local economy and grow a social enterprise that was started by Majumder to increase the tourism market in the three communities.
“Last year we had a hugely popular festival, and in the past year we now have all the tents set up which will eventually be able to be rented out, and we have the first pod built, which people can stay in eventually as well,” Whelan said.
The turmoil and successes of the project were once again documented this year on "Majumder Manor," which just finished its 10-episode season run on W Network.
“We’re hoping, and confident that it’s going to be a great weekend,” Whelan said. “I think people are going to walk away with the experience of a lifetime.”