After two COVID years off, illustrious local concert promoter Real Love returned for its seventh Real Love Summer Fest this July 22 – 23 in Teulon, Man.
Bolstered by a diverse lineup, beautiful weather and a sold-out crowd, the two-day fest brought together local and touring acts from around the continent, spanning a wide variety of genres and vibes.
Touring headliners this year included Boston’s Palehound, as well as several acts from the Winnipeg of the near-south, Chicago. Chi-town post-punkers Stuck hit the stage on Saturday commanding a vicious mosh pit, while fellow Illinoisians Sen Morimoto and KAINA brought their respective brands of genre-bending neo-soul and jazz-pop.
Attracting international talent sets Real Love apart from the pack of other small festivals in the province, which largely focus on local talent.
Of course, Summer Fest also offered a variety of stellar locals along with the touring acts. Big sets from Amos the Kid, Virgo Rising and JayWood kicked off the weekend on Friday, and local legends like Kandekt and Lev Snowe sounded as tight as ever on the Saturday.
The range of genres might seem a bit whiplashy on paper — on Friday alone the lineup included indie-folk, rock, alt-country, hip-hop and throwback house in the span of a few hours.
At the same time, co-organizers Gil Carroll and Adam Soloway put together the bill with a strict curatorial eye, giving each night a clean flow and arc of energy that peaked before leaving the last act to provide a chill foundation for the night ahead.
The only hitch of the event was the massive rainfall that hit Teulon the week before the festival, which made for some muddy ground — resulting in fun times like when the band Stuck got stuck in the mud on their way into the festival and helpful campers had to push them out.
Despite the mucky conditions, for the most part the festival went well, and Real Love is only looking to expand and improve their ventures in the future, from Summer Fest to local shows to Sherbrook Street Fest and Winterruption.