Today I discovered yet another reason to love my neighbourhood (and I already have great love for The Annex): the Open Tuning music festival.
Open Tuning is a free event held in Seaton Village (part of the larger ‘The Annex’ neighbourhood). On street corners, out of garages, in parks and on the front porches of homes, musicians of all ages, experience levels and genres play music.
This was the festival’s third year, but the first time I attended (many thanks to my best friend/neighbour/partner in crime Robyn, for the invitation).
With maps, signs and schedules posted on street signs and lamp posts throughout the neighbourhood, one could easily navigate to find performances of interest — but we chose to wander around instead, enjoying the beautiful summer sunshine and following the sound of music. The hospitality and energy on the streets was amazing. Some people put out chairs, spread picnic blankets, set up umbrellas for shade, and offered pitchers of cold water and cups (today was hot) so “concert-goers” could enjoy the performances in comfort. People of all ages gathered around to listen and offer a round of applause for the musicians, a number of whom were quite young (and VERY talented). There was a palpable sense of joy and pride on the streets of Seaton Village today. I felt moved myself, witnessing simple acts of kindness and support, a truly engaged community. I commented to Robyn that it felt like we were walking through an episode of Gilmore Girls, so idyllic was the scene around us, reminiscent of the fictional town of Stars Hollow.
Open Tuning is something special. I’m glad this event exists — and quite frankly, very impressed. Open Tuning is free for all, and totally ‘DIY’ — there are no corporate sponsors, and the event is planned and run completely by volunteers. Musicians play for the love of music, and are likewise unpaid. I donated to Open Tuning’s GoFundMe campaign after returning home, because I think the work they are doing is great — bringing people together and supporting local artists, giving them a space to develop and share their music. I hope to attend again next year.