Crowds were no doubt thinner than organizers would have wished but the Tweet by one festival goer pretty much sums up the drizzly weekend that was Supercrawl 2015.
Under leaden skies that periodically squeezed out drizzle and finally a cold, insistent rain on Saturday evening, the carnival-esque atmosphere took hold of James Street North for three days of the festival that is Supercrawl. There were stiff winds at times that must have made stage management a headache-worthy undertaking and stalwart volunteers who kept going and going and going.
Food truck operators look bored and restless. Bus drivers grumble and mutter under their breath darkly about the crowded detour route around the festivities. A throng waits and waits and waits on that elusive Barton bus – the beleaguered Wonder Bus #2 that is kept waiting in traffic. A steady trickle of people on the sidewalks heading downtown, in spite of the inclement weather that turns into a crowd along James Street.
Friday night was heavy on throngs of twenty-somethings dressed in their back to school best rocking out to Terra Lightfoot – who is having herself a terrific year overall – and Elliott Brood. Musician spotting: A middle-aged, tattooed guy with scraggly hair and ripped up black clothes wields a bottle of water like an axe as he strides purposefully down the street. Saturday night the rain starts in earnest about 7-ish with much of the crowd leaving by 8:30. It’s the diehard fans who hang on until 10-ish when the rain stops and things start up again with the Sadies, the Killjoys and spectacular Circus Orange. The ladies were swooning over Hayden Desser on a drizzly Sunday while the kids were dancing up a storm to Fred Penner in the Family Zone.
Indoor shows like the Acoustic Moments at the Artword Artbar with Klyde Broox and Riddim Riders and Kojo Damptey’s showcase at Homegrown are well attended and Jackson Square along with many of the merchants enjoy a surge of business as people come inside to dry out and shop. Many of the festival goers seem entirely insouciant about the weather. It is gritty old Hamilton after all.