Gussapolooza 2023: A Weekend Of Music, Art, and Creativity

Canada's Most Empowering Music Festival Returns

Calling all music lovers and creative souls. It’s time to get ready for an unforgettable weekend! Gussapolooza Music Festival is back, and it promises to be an extraordinary event celebrating independent music, art, and creativity.

While this will only be the festival’s second year in Cookstown, Gussapolooza has been around since 2017. Before Cookstown, it was held on 5 acres of private property in Holland Landing, Ontario.

Gussapolooza founder Russ Robson explains, “It started off as a kind of backyard party for a couple traveling local emerging bands and everybody got together on a Friday night. We made a stage out of a pickup truck and a few rafters.” But the event quickly grew and so many bands showed up that it lasted for three days.”

In fact, there were so many bands and people the organizers didn’t know that they started to call everyone “Gus”.

PODCAST: Listen To Our Chat With Gussapolooza’s Founder Russ Robson (and more local news)

Russ shares, “That’s where the name Gussapolooza came from … Gus turned into the emerging saint for indie artists in the area.”

Today, Gussapolooza has become even bigger. It’s not just your average music festival. It’s an immersive experience that embraces emerging artists from all walks of life, cultivates a thriving community of music enthusiasts, and serves as a hub for artists and creators to collaborate and forge lifelong connections.

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This Year’s Performances

This year’s lineup is a testament to Gussapolooza’s dedication to discovering the next big names in music with dozens of performers, including last year’s grand prize winners:

  • The Human Drive from Toronto
  • Shoemaker Levee from Newmarket
  • Francesca Pennetta from Thornton

Russ shares, “We’re going to have, I believe, just over 50 bands coming out from all over Canada. We had 700 submissions from all over North America. We had submissions from Nashville, Tennessee. We had them from Florida, Los Angeles … it’s actually mind-blowing to see it grow into this, what it’s become today. It really started off on humble grassroots beginnings and we didn’t really see how important this was and how needed it was in the music community … ”

But even with applications from all over the continent, the festival is sticking to its all-Canadian lineup. There will be artists from all over the country including Ontario, PEI, Montreal, BC, and more.

Beyond Music

Gussapolooza is more than just a music festival. It’s also a thriving community that encourages collaboration among filmmakers, visual artists, and innovative minds from all backgrounds. Whether you’re an artist seeking new horizons or an art student eager to connect with like-minded individuals, Gussapolooza welcomes you with open arms. The festival even offers special discounts to creators and art students.

In addition to the exceptional musical performances, Gussapolooza offers a plethora of experiences to delight attendees. From art installations to workshops and comedy shows, there’s something for everyone. The festival also includes unique and creative vendors, ensuring a memorable experience for all.

So, mark your calendars and join this incredible journey of art, music, and collaboration!

Gussapolooza Music Festival, presented by Painted Door Reality, takes place from September 15th to 17th, 2023, at the Georgian Bay Steam Show Grounds.

Tickets for the festival are available at Campsites are available for overnight stays and early RV booking is strongly encouraged due to the limited number of available power sites.

To find out more information, purchase tickets, receive lineup announcements, and be part of the Gussapolooza community, visit the website or follow @Gussapolooza on social media.