Great Big Bash is the music fest for everyone – you must go next year! Here’s why…

What do you get when you combine the best in Canadian classic rock, with a hotel on site, in beautiful Cape Breton? Nothing other than Great Big Bash!

ACR attended the event at the Harbourview Inn and Suites in Sydney from August 23-24, and it’s easy to say it’s much more than a music festival, it’s a gathering for everyone.

Acts to grace the stage included Canadian rock legends April Wine, Trooper and Honeymoon Suite, plus local favorites including Heather Rankin and Pretty Archie. The stage also saw cover acts including High Society, Cam Hollohan, The Outsiders, a tribute to The Eagles, and Lit Up. 

Friday evening began with Lit Up doing some covers to get the crowd singing, then Heather Rankin came out with her irresistible high pitched voice that just can’t let the smile leave your face.  Following that, we returned to covers, which included a tribute to the Eagles, as well as High Society.  Both bands showed everyone how many words to various songs a crowd would remember. Who doesn’t know the words to Hotel California?!

Heather Rankin

By the time headliners Trooper took the stage, the crowd was piling in and ready to jump around and sing. The band opened with their classic hit “We’re Here for a Good Time”, “Three Dressed Up as a Nine” “Two For the Show”, “The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car” and crowd smash hit “Raise a Little Hell”

Trooper lead vocalist Ra McGuire

As far as Trooper’s set goes, one of the coolest parts was the encore as it included a great cover of Crowbar’s “Oh What a Feeling” followed by a reprise of “We’re Here for a Good Time” that had the crowd sing almost every word, including the backing vocals, because Trooper fans can’t go wrong. 

Following an amazing night one, fans were getting excited for night two which featured Cam Hollohan, The Outsiders, Pretty Archie, Honeymoon and Canadian international recording rock band April Wine!

Cam Hollohan followed by The Outsiders took the stage to once again grace the crowd with covers, ranging from Collective Soul, all the way to Bruno Mars. 

Cape Breton’s own Pretty Archie is starting to get a following in the Maritimes, and there was no better place to see them than their home island, the band has many popular songs including “We Don’t Live Forever” “ Ain’t No Saving Me” and more. 

Cape Breton”s own Pretty Archie

As the second last band for 2019, Honeymoon Suite took the stage for a greatest hits set that included “Burning in Love”, “ What does it Take” and many more including their biggest hit “New Girl Now”, which got the Bash crowd singing loudly and ready for the final group. 

Once April Wine hit the stage, the crowd was ready to sing as loud as possible following the amazing weekend they just had. Opening up with “You Could Have Been a Lady” was fitting as the crowd knew every word. The crowd went through a set of their biggest hits from “Just Between You and Me” to “ I Like to Rock” and many more. But the band’s final, cowbell filled encore best describes the entire event with its title, “Oowatanite”!!!

April Wine on the Great Big Bash stage

Once again, Great Big Bash sets itself apart from most music festivals in so many ways. Usually you have to walk or drive back to your hotel, constantly wipe sweat from your forehead, and stand up to eat your festival food, really you just stand up all day in general. At Great Big Bash, these are all things of the past. The festival is set up in the hotel parking lot, and you can walk right out of your room, and go right to the concert. If your feeling hungry, tired, or overheated you can grab a slice of pizza and head back to your comfortable air conditioned room and relax until the next band. Then head back out and get ready to keep on rocking! I’ve never attended a festival like this, ever.  GBB takes all of these little benefits and gives attendees big excitement.  

Nothing better than a relaxing slice between acts!

To conclude, Great Big Bash truly is for EVERYONE, whether you are up front on the rail, sitting in a chair, or taking air conditioner breaks and body rests during intermission, you can and will have an amazing time.  I haven’t said much here in the community, but ten weeks ago I had brain surgery and am recovering.  There was no better way to try to get back into things, as all of the wonderful benefits helped me get through the weekend, and they’ll do the same for you, no matter your concert style. 

So the point is, if you want one of the most unique experiences ever, with great music and comfort, and the hotel right there, you MUST go. Stay tuned for all the details on 2020 as they come. See you there!

Who would you like to see at GBB 2020?

*Review by ACR founder Cole McLean

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