Music festivals are great. I love them. They are an opportunity to enjoy your favourite musicians, meet people in the community, and maybe discover some awesome new bands. In my opinion, summers aren't complete without going to at least one! Luckily for us Saskatchewanians, there are many summer music festivals to choose from. Each festival is unique, none more so than the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival which takes place at Ness Creek every August. The weekend is jammed pack with live music, dancing, horse shoes and nature walks. Bands are brought in from all across North America. Festival goers had the chance to experience the Los Texmaniacs from Texas, Le Vent Du Nord from Quebec, The Slocan Ramblers from Toronto and Jeff Scroggins and Colorado from.. you guessed it, Colorado. There were also a number of local artists and bands, rightfully called 'tweeners,’ who played sets between the headliners. In total, I counted twenty-four musical acts! There is also a music camp that takes place the week before the festival. The coolest part about it—the instructors of the camp are some of the headlining musicians of the festival. It's an amazing chance for new musicians to learn their instruments from the best of the best. It's also an excellent networking opportunity. The camp is open to all skill levels and anyone aged five or older. There were 130 students this year, ranging from kids and teens fine-tuning their skills, to some folks in their seventies who were taking beginner guitar lessons. If you've ever wanted to learn an instrument but felt like you never had the time, this music camp would be a great way to learn! Tracy Lalonde is the Music Camp Coordinator and Chairperson of the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Society. She feels passionate about keeping bluegrass and old tyme music alive! She remembers the days of her childhood that were spent around a campfire or in a kitchen singing along to acoustic instruments. The goal of the camp and of the festival is to preserve and promote bluegrass and old tyme music for generations to come. I think it's working. At last year's festival, three teenage students from camp decided to form a band. They'd known each other for a few years, reconnecting each summer at the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Camp. Finally they got together for some late-night jamming and realized they had something special. In with the Old was born. And they've been busy. In the last year they've played at a handful of events, including Telemiracle, The Saskatchewan Country Music Awards, John Arcand Fiddle Fest, Flute and Fiddle in Birch Hills, and the Pickers' Cup. They've played at house concerts, BonTemps Cafe, and The Bassment. If that's not enough, they've also recorded and released a CD! Wow. The band's founders, Jaxson Lalonde,15, Kasia Thorlakson,18, and Ellen Froese-Kooijenga,18, have a strong passion for music. They describe their style as folk old tyme with bluegrass influences and they get inspiration from all around. They love coming to the Northern Lights Camp and Festival to meet musicians who are making it in the folk/old tyme/ bluegrass scene. It motivates them to be the best musicians they can be! In with the Old has so much passion for music and performing. They are proof that bluegrass and old tyme music is still alive and thriving!