Article and Photos by Jason Setnyk
Vankleek Hill Ontario – 54-40, K-OS, and The Born Ruffians are headlining Beau’s Oktoberfest 2016. The event takes place Friday September 23rd and Saturday September 24th at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill Ontario.
Some people might wonder why Oktoberfest is in September. According to the organizers, The Oktoberfest in Germany was held in Oktober in its first year (1810), however it has been moved up to prolong the celebration and take advantage of the warmer September weather. That sounds like a very good idea!
Headlining Beau’s Oktoberfest is Canadian rock band 54-40, who were a headline band for Cornwall’s Lift-off festival a few years ago. One of the bands most famous songs is “I Go Blind” which was covered by Hootie and the Blowfish and appeared on the soundtrack of the television show Friends in the 1990s. There have been a few lineup changes since the band formed in 1981. One of the most notable ones is the addition of guitarist Dave Genn was formerly in the Matthew Good Band.
k-os (spelled with a lower case “K” on purpose) is the stage name of Canadian rapper Kevin Brereto who is also playing Beau’s Oktoberfest. His music has been represented by several major labels including Universal Music Canada and EMI. The Grammy and Juno nominated musical has received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, CBC, and more. He has toured the world, and he has appeared and performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, and he also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. His album “Atlantis: Hymns For Disco” went platinum, and it featured collaborations with Sam Roberts and Buck 65. In 2011 Much Music released k-os’s MTV Unplugged concert as a DVD, and the CD portion of the release included the song “Faith Part 2” featuring Drake.
Also playing Oktoberfest are The Born Ruffians. They are an award winning Canadian indie rock band originally from Midland Ontario. The band has toured with Franz Ferdinand, Caribou, The Hidden Cameras, and Tokyo Police Club. They have received extensive airplay on CBC radio, one of their songs was even used on an American Express commercial, and they are on Yep Roc Records / Paper Bag Records.
Rounding off the musical line-up is Hannah Georgas, Fast Romantics, Motel Raphael, Gazoline, and Walter Ostanek.
It’s not just music at Oktoberfest. Other activities include the Malt Sack Race, a Sausage Eating Contest, a Keg Toss, a Stein Holding Struggle, a Partner Carrying Race, a Team Challenge, Charity Bikeride, Homebrew Competition, and more. The event will also feature Beau’s Beer, and what is an Oktoberfest without beer?
Weekend passes are available for $45 and camping is available for $30.