6 reasons why first weekend of Trails Tales Tunes 2016 was a perfect summer kickoff

All of Canada knows about Victoria Day Weekend (better known, of course, as May 2-4 weekend) but here in Gros Morne we know it best as the kick-off to the summer season, coinciding with the first weekend of Trails Tales Tunes! And what a weekend it was!

Here are 6 reasons why the first weekend of Trails Tales Tunes 2016 was so good.

1. The sun came out and the waterfront was packed.


The Shed Band playing on the Norris Point waterfront.

A string of sunny (and warm!) days brought us all out of our winter shells to embrace the sunshine, and the Norris Point waterfront was on the go! Pairing the sun with live music on the deck at the Cat Stop and a gentle breeze from Bonne Bay (and maybe a beer or two) made for a string of relaxing days.

2. The whales came out to play


Humpbacks feeding in Bonne Bay! Photo by Marie Hickey on Twitter.

Every time I was around the water I was greeted by the whoosh sound of whales exhaling in the water. Minke whales were plentiful (and surprisingly playful!) and there were even a few humpbacks. 🐋

3. The Once and Sherman Downey are lovely


Sherman Downey and The Once playing together at the SOCAN Session at the Bonne Bay Marine Station.

Not only was the music of both The Once and Sherman Downey gorgeous, but hearing them jam together at the Bonne Bay Marine Station at the SOCAN Session on Sunday afternoon was especially fun. And hearing the sound of the crowd singing along too? Gives me chills.

4. Those sunsets!


The sunset in Rocky Harbour on May 23, 2016.

We were treated to night after night of beautiful sunsets. Many beach campfires were had, much marvelling at the beautiful colours.

5. Dancing. So much dancing.


The Catch playing at the Cat Stop on May 22 2016.

With three nights in a row of A Time at The Cat Stop, I haven’t danced so much in a long time. With the Dave McHugh Band on Friday night, The Mixed Tapes on Saturday, and The Catch on Sunday night, you’d think people wouldn’t have the energy for every night, but it turns out that every night was a dancing night.

6. An incredible Open Mic to close the weekend


Roger Howse, Mike McDonald, and Sandy Morris starting off the Trails Tales Tunes open mic.


Joe Coffin and Nick Earle are joined by Roger Howse.

Mike McDonald, Roger Howse, and Sandy Morris kicked off an open mic night with a set of incredible tunes. (And with that team of musicians, what else would you expect?) The crowd was sparse at first but the room filled very quickly, and things got magical when 16-year-old blues guitar phenoms Nick Earle and Joe Coffin blew the crowd away with an impromptu set (joined at the end by Roger Howse).


Tony McManus. Amazing.

And as if we weren’t already floored, then guitar master Tony McManus took the stage for a few amazing tunes, ending by getting the entire place to sing along to What A Wonderful World. So many chills, and the perfect end to the long weekend.

Still lots of Trails, Tales, Tunes to come, continuing until May 29! Check out the full schedule right here.

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Tom Cochrane

Tom Cochrane is a digital storyteller and the creative director of Old Crow Magazine. Tom's photography and videography work can be found at tomcochranephoto.com. Tom is based in Newfoundland, Canada.