SUPERCRAWL!!!  It’s the greatest thing that’s happened to downtown Hamilton since the Eaton Centre.   The greatest thing since the short-lived Hamilton Skyhawks basketball franchise played at Copps Coliseum (look it up). 

135,000 people came downtown and they enjoyed themselves so much, that they’ll probably come downtown again.  From a musician’s perspective, this is a huge deal.  Huge, like the EUREKA moment when we realized that we have a billion waterfalls in Hamilton…

Why?  Because downtown is where music happens.  Put simply, there is a correlation between the number of people hanging out downtown and the vibrancy of the music scene.  Imagine what the Nashville or New Orleans scene would look like if the musicians didn’t have an audience?    

I imagine it might be like downtown Hamilton, ten years ago.  Your audience was just the sound guy and the occasional tumbleweed rolling through the bar… 

So what happened?  Supercrawl happened.  It’s the only free festival I have ever attended that has a huge local music component.  Not only does it remind people that downtown Hamilton is a happening place on a Saturday night, but it is engaging Hamiltonians in the local music dialogue. 

What’s more - it gives local musicians a boost.  I’ve had the good fortune to perform in some capacity at each Supercrawl since 2010 and every year, I walk away feeling like a rock star. 

This year, I was playing an ambient electro set with Awesollator (Dylan Hudecki) at the AGH Design Annex.  The electricity of the big audience gave us a buzz that I’m still feeling days later.  That buzz is what keeps you moving, pursuing new sounds and exploring as an artist.

The trick will be to keep up the momentum, so let’s hope at least a fraction of those 135,000 Supercrawlers will be coming back downtown this weekend to enjoy some more local music!

[Next month – introducing the brand new Arkells’ fruit stand at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market…is there anything they can’tdo!?!]


Steve McKay - Born-and-raised Hamiltonian, Drummer, Songwriter, Father, Mortgage Broker, Chorister and Technical Director of the new classical music venue at Church of St. John the Evangelist (Charlton & Locke).  His musical travels have taken him around the world with the likes of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Bruce Peninsula.  

You can catch him performing locally with YerYard (Hidden Pony), High Kites and as a member of the Central Presbyterian Church choir.