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SweetWater festival still bringing music to area with outdoor performances

Pop-up concerts will take place outdoors in Meaford and Owen Sound later this week
The SweetWater Surreal music festival runs Sept. 17 to 20 in Meaford and Owen Sound. Contributed photo


The SweetWater Music Festival’s multifaceted, multi-platform music experience SweetWater Surreal is now underway. From September 17 to 20, Surreal Live will offer 11 “mini-concerts” staged in outdoor settings around Owen Sound and Meaford, Ontario. Each concert will feature a string quartet led by Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga performing well-known classical works, contemporary pieces, and a few surprises as well. 

“I believe it to be so important for us all to continue to create, to share, and to help and care for each other in the best ways that we can and know-how. For me, as an artist and artistic director, it is to try and provide some food for the soul,” says Huizinga. “I'm so thrilled that the Sweetwater Music Festival is offering some small events all around the local area in 2020.” 

Along with Huizinga on violin, the quartet features violist Keith Hamm, violinist Marc Destrubé, and cellist Julie Hereish. 

Beginning on Thursday, September 17, Pop-Up Concerts will take place in unexpected and less formal, outdoor settings around the local community. Locations include Meaford Harbour Rotary Pavilion (12 p.m. Thursday), Billy Bishop Home & Museum, Owen Sound (3 p.m. Thursday), Bayshore Pavilion, Owen Sound (12 p.m. Friday), Grey Gallery Gardens, Owen Sound (Friday, 3 p.m.), Hibou Conservation Area (12 p.m. Saturday), and Harrison Park Bandstand, Owen Sound (3 p.m. Saturday). The final one is a special Sunday Brunch Pop-Up at 11 a.m. at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market. Donations are appreciated. 

SweetWater is complying with all current health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19. Event attendance is limited to 50 people and physical distancing and face masks will be part of the safety measures at all concerts. 

Surreal Live will also feature three Garden Concerts staged at private residences in Owen Sound and Meaford. These concerts require advance registration online at Only a few spots are still available. The Friday evening Surreal Live at Coffin Ridge Winery event sold out in just three days. 

SweetWater Surreal also features online, virtual music opportunities. In late August, Front Row “Surreal” episode premiered. This online feature provides up-close and personal opportunities to hear about a performer’s life and career as well as a short performance sequence. This series will run until early 2021 and features all of the performers originally scheduled to perform at the 17th Festival (postponed until 2021). 

Later this fall, many of the Surreal Live concerts will also be available to enjoy online. Plus, SweetWater has a big announcement they will be making during Surreal Live about another live concert event in Owen Sound on October 30. 

To find out more, go to or keep up on the latest SweetWater news and more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 

SweetWater Surreal is possible thanks in part to the support of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, The Leflar Foundation, The Medley Family, Murray & Ruth Cathcart, Betty & Joe Gray, Ken & Maureen Sutherland, and the Municipality of Meaford.