Inside the first Big Feastival Canada in Oro-Medonte

Jamie Oliver's music festival featured plenty of food and (family-oriented) fun


Toronto area music festival veterans may not have known quite what to make of the first-ever Big Feastival. 

The inaugural Canadian edition of the U.K.-grown music-and-food fest, co-founded by mega-chef Jamie Oliver (who, sadly, was not present) occupied a far smaller footprint than its Burl’s Creek site-mate, WayHome. The obligatory food trucks encircling the grounds were joined by tents packed with artisanal olive oil, jerky and soda producers. 

Bands like De La Soul, the Strumbellas and Weezer competed on the schedule with beer soap-making demonstrations and appearances by chefs like Chuck Hughes. And at least one sheep was shorn live on stage, to the bemusement and delight of the many, many under-12 festival attendees. (Plenty of music fests are MDMA central – but not Big Feastival, where the medics probably spent most of their time handing out Band-Aids for scraped knees.)

Between the panels and cooking classes, the robust (if not ultra cutting-edge) music lineup, the carnival rides and the slate of family-oriented activities (including an honest to goodness petting zoo), the festival offered plenty of opportunities to stumble on something new without the offerings feeling too scattered. At the very least, the activities under various tents provided a handy escape from the rain that poured onto the festival on Day One.

No telling if the Big Feastival will return for seconds next year, but guests of all stripes and ages seemed to go home pretty satisfied. Here’s a look back at the music, food and activities at the Big Feastival 2017.

The bands

De La Soul

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Natalia Manzocco

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De La Soul

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

This guy waited all day for De La Soul’s set he apparently also met them at the airport.

OK Go

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Weezer

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

Dragonette

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

Choir! Choir! Choir!

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Natalia Manzocco

Dwayne Gretzky

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

Good Enough Live Karaoke

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Natalia Manzocco

The food

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Natalia Manzocco

Tater tots with braised beef, kimchi and a quail egg from TOBEN.

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Natalia Manzocco

Free samples of cheddar and Ermite wrapped in frozen maple syrup.

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Natalia Manzocco

From the Cheese Boutique: Halloumi cheese blowtorched to order…

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Natalia Manzocco

…and topped with Ontario peaches, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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Natalia Manzocco

Vegan donuts from Tori’s Bakeshop.

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Natalia Manzocco

Duck confit sandwich from Heirloom Food Truck.

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Natalia Manzocco

Cinnamon-rolled chimney cones filled with soft serve from Eva’s Original Chimneys.

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Natalia Manzocco

Fruit and yogurt pops from The Pop Stand.

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Natalia Manzocco

Author and Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns owner Amy Rosen leads one of the numerous hands-on cooking demos held over the weekend.

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Natalia Manzocco

The rest of the fest

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

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Natalia Manzocco

nataliam@nowtoronto.com | @nataliamanzocco

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