Thousands flock to Cavendish for COVID-free music festival 2022

CAVENDISH, PEI – After more than two years without an audience, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival has returned to Prince Edward Island.

Thousands of fans gathered in Cavendish July 7-9 to see over 40 country acts perform.

Macayla Fenton and Maxie McIntyre were two of the music lovers SaltWire Network spoke to on July 9th.

While McIntyre had attended the event before, Fenton said it was her first time and the huge crowd was a highlight.

“I’ve been to concerts, but not like this,” she said. (It’s very good. I would come back.”


At a glance

The following are some of the headliners from the main stage at Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2022:

• The Cadilac Three

• Luke combs

• Maddie & Tae

• Darius Rücker

• GrangerSmith

• Dustin Lynch

Source: Cavendish Beach Music Festival website


Macayla Fenton (left) and Maxie McIntyre from Moncton, NB prepare for the final day of the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival.  Fenton, who attended the event for the first time, says the huge crowds were one of the highlights of the first few days.  -Logan MacLean
Macayla Fenton (left) and Maxie McIntyre from Moncton, NB prepare for the final day of the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Fenton, who attended the event for the first time, says the huge crowds were one of the highlights of the first few days. -Logan MacLean

Fenton and McIntyre traveled from Moncton, NB for the weekend and stayed in a cottage in Rustico. They booked the site last year as soon as promoters announced concert tickets.

McIntyre said the event saw fewer vendors and games on the site compared to previous years.

“There weren’t a lot of people selling clothes and stuff either.”

“I left in the last few days. It is very good. Seems to be getting better every year.”

– Liam Trenholm, festival goer

With about 25,000 fans expected each day, Fenton said the event was well organized and it was easy to access the grounds and washrooms.

Leaving the event, however, was a different story as everyone left at once, she said.

“Getting off is really bad.”

Aleea Kirkham, cashier at The North Shore Surf Company, says business boomed during the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival, with cowboy hats a top-selling item.  -Logan MacLean
Aleea Kirkham, cashier at The North Shore Surf Company, says business boomed during the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival, with cowboy hats a top-selling item. -Logan MacLean

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A few kilometers away, in North Rustico, Liam Trenholm from Port Hood, Cape Breton, was preparing for his third festival day.

“Just (here) with my buddies, have fun,” he said when SaltWire asked what brought him to Cavendish.

“I left in the last few days. It is very good. Seems to be getting better every year.”

Luke Combs was the highlight of the first two days, he said.

“He was evil. He put on a good show. He knew how to perform.”

Avid concert-goers remember the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 9th.  – Logan MacLean
Avid concert-goers remember the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 9th. – Logan MacLean

With the festival running daily from midday until almost midnight, Trenholm said he felt the effects of the first few nights.

But he’s ready for the final and looking forward to seeing Dustin Lynch, he said.

Jerred Affleck and his group also looked forward to Dustin Lynch in line at the concert site.

Like other people SaltWire spoke to, Jerred, Cindy Adams and Rose Affleck were on day three of the festival and were beginning to tire.

“It’s a long way from a mile,” said Jerred, laughing.

The weather has been good for the most part, with some chilly rain on Friday night, he said.

Adams and Rose also noted that the Friday night crowd was large and unruly at times, with attendees dominating others in the lawn chair area.

Cindy Adams, left, Rose Affleck and Jerred Affleck line up at the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 9.  Logan MacLean • The Guardian - Logan MacLean
Cindy Adams, left, Rose Affleck and Jerred Affleck line up at the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 9. Logan MacLean • The Guardian – Logan MacLean

Impact on business

This crowd extended well beyond the concert site, and businesses in the area saw more customers.

Aleea Kirkham, a cashier at The North Shore Surf Company, said the festival has made things busier.

“(There is) a lot more traffic, bringing people in and just waiting to go to the festival, wait and shop.”

However, people have been patient and seem happy to get back out after pandemic restrictions, she said.

The festival took place without COVID-19 restrictions, although case numbers in the PEI still average over 100 per day.

Liam Trenholm, a resident of Port Hood, Cape Breton, stands outside the North Rustico Food Market en route to day three of the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Trenholm says Luke Combs was the highlight of the first two days.  -Logan MacLean
Liam Trenholm, a resident of Port Hood, Cape Breton, stands outside the North Rustico Food Market en route to day three of the 2022 Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Trenholm says Luke Combs was the highlight of the first two days. -Logan MacLean

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