Band isn't lounging around in ’12

REANEY'S PICK: After the Lounge

By JAMES REANEY THE LONDON FREE PRESS

 

Feb 2nd-2012

London rock band After the Lounge is looking ahead to a busy 2012.

First, it is making time for a good song from 2010 and a good cause to support.

“It’s a knockdown version of Lights Go Out,” lead singer and founding member Scott Bollert said of the unplugged treatment of an After the Lounge original for Reaney’s Pick.

Lights Go Out has been a radio, download and YouTube hit.

Written by Simcoe-raised Bollert and former ATL guitarist Bryan Parsons, Lights Go Out is also receiving the club remix treatment on the Big Records label of London-tied hip-hopper Logik.

Joining Bollert in the video are Woodstock rockers Jeff Kikut on guitar and bassist the Scorpion as well as London drummer Carlos La Torre.

Bollert once said he came to London from Simcoe for Fanshawe College and love.

On Saturday, he’s back in Simcoe as the band plays a fundraiser for Simcoe’s Caring Cupboard food bank and the Simcoe Legion Branch 79.

Hollow Earth and Hi-Fi Low Rider are also on the bill for the Simcoe fundraiser.

After the Lounge plays Norma Jean’s in London on Feb. 10. It will be the latest gig in almost of decade of shows for the band.

La Torre joined Bollert and an early lineup about eight years ago.

“A lot of gigs, a lot of stories — some we can’t (mention) on the air,” La Torre said during the recent video session.

La Torre went to Laurier and Beal secondary schools in London.

He also plays with London band the Mongrels.

“We have been busy as killer bees in the ATL headquarters. Shows, songs, shows tunes, music videos, tunes, shows, ­videos, merch,” the band said on its afterthelounge.com website.

“Our 2012 has been productive with writing and prepping a new single. The group has three songs solid as we hit the big studio with producer Darren Morrison this month. We hope to have a single to radio by February.”

After the Lounge has shared bills with such bands as Blue Oyster Cult, Bad Company, Glass Tiger, Helix and the Salads.

Woodstock CI grad Kikut and the Scorpion, who went to Woodstock St. Mary’s Catholic secondary school, are the latest additions to the lineup.

The two also play in the Smashtones.

An onlooker at Friday’s video session suggested their Woodstock connection helped the bass player follow Kikut into After the Lounge.

Nothing that planned, they said. “It seems to be working that way,” Kikut said.

E-mail james.reaney@sunmedia.ca, read James's blog read his column or follow JamesatLFPress on Twitter.


Bands rocking out for Simcoe charities

By SARAH DOKTOR, SIMCOE REFORMER

 

After the Lounge is rocking out for charity.

The London-based band is returning to lead singer Scott Bollert's hometown to perform a concert benefiting the Simcoe branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and the local food bank.

"If we can help out any way possible" the band will take advantage of the opportunity, said Bollert.

Hallow Earth and Hi-Fi Low Rider will join ATL at the Jan. 28 show. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Simcoe Legion and promises to be a high-energy party.

The Simcoe Legion will receive 100% of the revenue from the show.

"They always need as much help as possible," said Bollert. "The people that run it [the legion] are great."

John Charleau, vice-president of the Simcoe Legion, said the money raised by the event will be used for general maintenance and to update the interior of the legion building.

"We're going through some tough times," said Charleau. The legion has been suffering from a declining membership for quite some time.

The night will also help replenish the shelves of the Simcoe Caring Cupboard. ATL asks attendees to bring in a non-perishable food item along with the cost of admission, $5.

With the addition of these donations the food bank will be stocked until spring, said Caring Cupboard chairperson Kim Scoyne. She said the food bank is in need of food for children's lunches: juice boxes, granola bars and other snacks.

The event will kick off an important year for ATL. Bollert said 2012 will be "the biggest year yet."

ATL has shared the bill with the likes of 3 Doors Down, Finger Eleven, and The Salads. This year ATL will finally be touring in the United States, releasing a song available for download on the game Rock Band and will release its second album.

The band's follow up to the 2010 release, Lights Go Out, will not be a traditional release in the sense that it will not actually be made into a CD. The three tracks will be released starting with a single next month, which has still not been decided.

"We're changing the way we're distributing music," said Bollert.

He said people are not buying albums the way they used to, so the band is changing to stay up to date with the times. It is important to stay current for a band that has been touring and making music for more than a decade.

"The style and focus has changed quite a bit," said Bollert. "It's been an interesting 10 years."

The band was once known as a wild party band that played covers, and has spent years refining their writing skills.

"In the last three years, is when it really came together," said Bollert.

He said the ATL's style is simple rock and roll.

Bollert said the band's biggest accomplishment is being recognized as a national Canadian recording act.

"We're bigger in Europe than we are in Canada," said Bollert, noting the band has never actually played anywhere in Europe. "We're big in places we've never played -thanks to technology."

ATL also includes Carlos La Torre on drums, Jeff Kikut on guitar and Shawn Smith on bass.

Sarah Doktor

519-426-3528 ext. 11

sarah.doktor@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/sarahreformer

 


 

Saturday, November, 26, 2011

Photo by: Tanya Rivard

The current lineup of After the Lounge, including (from left) Jeff Kikut, Carlos La Torre, Scott Bollert, and Shawn Smith, have enjoyed ongoing success since moved from being a tribute act to producing their own songs.

After the Lounge party Sunday

By Sean Meyer/London Community News

For more than a decade now, indie rock band After the Lounge has been packing concert halls and dance floors with their energetic shows.

In fact, there has been times in recent years where the band is not only performing three and four nights a week, but often twice in a given day. That kind of success would make some bands jealous, but for Scott Bollert, it made him realize he wanted to be part of something more.

“We were known for that, being that great party band. Everywhere we went it was always a good time, there were packed dance floors,” Bollert said. “I was always in tribute acts, I started out as a tribute artist. But you get to the point that when you are writing your own songs, you want to put your own music out, you want to create your own scene.”

After the Lounge was started by Bollert in 2001 as, essentially, a cover band. Through various lineup changes and musical shifts, the band established itself as a rock/dance act people could count on for a good time.

They may have been successful, but Bollert is quick to point out it wasn’t easy work.

“When people say musicians age quicker, now I know why. You are playing three or four shows a week constantly, watching the sun come up every weekend two or three times,” Bollert said. “A previous guitar player and I argued about this, I said 10 per cent of being in a band is playing the actual physical show and the other 90 per cent is what you did to get there. It takes a lot of work to actually get yourself up on that stage.”

Bollert said the various incarnations of the band were almost always constantly writing their own material. However, the right opportunity to perform it never seemed to come along.

“We never really got the formula down properly, we never put in the time to get it recorded properly and chase down the right avenues of producers and radio trackers and record companies,” Bollert said. “The current lineup has been together for three years; we’ve had a good, solid lineup for a while now. I have worked with a lot of great guys over the years, a lot of great musicians. But this is the lineup that has worked the best.”

Getting up on that stage has always been a thrill for Bollert. However, he said there came a time when he didn’t want to be known for performing other people’s music.

“That’s the thing between a tribute band and one that does original music. If you are a Bon Jovi tribute band, you go out there to a packed crowd and do a good job, but you are living off of what someone else has done,” Bollert said. “A lot of the songs we wrote over the years wouldn’t go over with what our high-energy shows were about. That becomes a big challenge.”

After years of playing everything from Billy Idol to INXS to the Foo Fighters — really anything that was making people groove — the focus of After the Lounge eventually shifted to creating original music.

It has been a shift that paid off for Bollert and current band mates Carlos La Torre, Jeff Kikut and Shawn Smith. The band is currently wrapping up three years of production on a live project, a possible DVD, there is a new album in the works, and a new hit single set to hit the airwaves early in 2012.

The shift to original music has been satisfying, Bollert said, but he is also quick to point out it hasn’t been easy.

“But this year, everything came together, fell into line. We were part of Hiawatha Bash, in Sarnia, with Finger Eleven and Three Doors Down. That effort has been seen by some major promoters and agency groups who want use us for big time shows,” Bollert said. “We played Hiawatha Bash (in Sarnia) for example, having thousands of people lined up to get our merchandise, get an autograph. They tell you they are there just because they love your music, that feels incredible.”


Sights set high for After the Lounge

Scene Magazine, London, Ontario, Canada

August 2011

Formed in 2001, After The Lounge (ATL) played their first official show in 2003. Although they began as a regular cover band doing 120 shows a year, now they’re recognized and embraced as a truly original indie rock band playing music that ranges from pop to pure rock, with a heavy guitar sound and a touch of metal. According to lead singer G. Scott Bollert, After The Lounge has ambitious goals that extend far beyond the Forest City’s boundaries.

“To be honest, I’ve never really been focused on the indie scene in London. London is no different than anywhere else in the world. Great musicians are everywhere. ATL’s focus is to play, play, play - in all major cities. We play London on rotation because we’re proud of our roots, but we’re more proud of being able to spread our music on a global scale.” 

In an effort to capture a larger market, ATL recently released the nine-track CD, Lights Go Out. The album’s title track has received considerable airplay but Bollert says the success the album has achieved so far is only the beginning. 

“We’re backing up Lights Go Out with another single in the late fall and a full album is in the works. We’re working on a live album with material from the last three years. It will be an acoustic knock-down with guest musicians. We’re not slowing down. Mark my words, ATL hasn’t even started yet, what you’ve seen so far has all just been a warm up.” 

~Gianna Conte


SummerBlast 2 Set to Rock St Thomas

Arts/Life By ERIC BUNNELL TIMES-JOURNAL

The 2nd Annual SummerBlast concert series is on its way! The only music festival in St. Thomas, ON and one of the fastest growing festivals in Canada. Summerblast is a large outdoor concert featuring today's best recording artists.

Get ready to be rocked by some great bands from Sept 17th to 19th, 2010. Friday night will feature The Salads, The Joys, Boss Rebel and After The Lounge. Saturday night David Wilcox will rock the SummerBlast stage. Opening is the wildly popular Moondog Uproar and many other talented performers.

Sunday is country night, with Jessie Farrell and 4 other country bands.
Weekend passes are $40 each, Friday only $10, Saturday only $25, and Sunday $20, including all taxes.
Tickets and information available through the SummerBlast website at www.summerblast.ca and www.ticketbreak.com. Follow SummerBlast on Facebook for more information.
The Canada Southern Railway Station is both the beneficiary of the concert and will serve as the backdrop to the event, taking place at 750 Talbot Street. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the restoration of the historic station. North America Railway Hall of Fame
 


Huge rock fest descends on Grand Bend track

SUMMER SOUNDS: Weekend-long concert features such acts as Bad Company, Ronnie Hawkins, Rik Emmett and Glass Tiger

By JAMES REANEY THE LONDON FREE PRESS

August 4, 2010

 

On the rebound from a venue switch, big names in rock and blues are bound for The Bend.

British rockers Bad Company with Paul Rodgers, Canadian legend Ronnie Hawkins and U.S. bluesman and actor Jim Belushi are the headliners at Dog’s Nest at Grand Brend.

Having been switched from the Port Dover area, the Dog’s Nest fest is being held at the Grand Bend motorplex Aug. 12-14.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for the Bend as well. We’re looking for a positive here (after having to change venues),” says Dog’s Nest event director Chris Parson, a longtime London region music scene businessperson and booker. “It’s the perfect location — the ‘West Coast’ of Ontario.”

The event was switched from the Port Dover area to the Grand Bend-area venue last month. Norfolk OPP and a Port Dover councillor expressed concerns about handling the huge crowds expected for next week’s traditional motorcycle rally, held in Port Dover every Friday the 13th for 30 years, and the rock fans.

Dog’s Nest still has Port Dover on its radar. Next year, Dog’s Nest’s Embro-based promoters are to stage a music event at Port Dover on May 13, Parson says.

A singer, songwriter and frontman, Rodgers has released 30 albums since 1968 and sold more than 90 million records. He’s helped lead three bands to rock stardom — Free, Bad Company and The Firm.

During Bad Company’s run from 1973-1982, the band’s hits included Can’t Get Enough, Feel Like Making Love, Shooting Star, Bad Company and Rock & Roll Fantasy.

The 2010 Bad Company tour brings guitarist and co-founder Mick Ralphs and original drummer Simon Kirke.

Among those set to join Hawkins on the opening night of Dog’s Nest are former Londoner Garth Hudson, who left the London region about 40 years ago to play in Hawkins’ backup band, the Hawks. .

Also in the all-star mix are the Sadies. Appearing alongside Hawkins will keep the 2010 Polaris Music Prize-nominated Sadies in the company of Canadian cultural celebrities this summer.

Last month, the Toronto-area band brought its blend of roots, country, psychedelia, rock and surf to a recent CBC Radio Two collaboration with CanLit superstar Margaret Atwood on a song of hers.

Also on hand for the Hawkins’ all-star jam is London-region band Plum Loco —whose guitarist, John Till of Stratford, played with a late 1960s’ edition of the Hawks before being hired away by Janis Joplin’s management.

Other London-region acts announced for the Dog’s Nest bill range from rockers Bobnoxious and After The Lounge to the psychobilly Matadors.


AFTER THE LOUNGE - ROCK RIBFEST

Scene Magazine -John Sharpe

After The Lounge, the London-based band headed by Simcoe native Scott Bollert, recently completed work on its first full-length album, Lights Go Out.  Produced by Darren Morrison, of London's Big Room Studios, the eight-song

disc was mastered by Hollywood-based sound engineer Stephen Marsh. So far,

the title track has been chosen by Radio RNR from Las Vegas, Nevada for inclusion on their New Music, New Faces Vol. 3, a compilation series of original music from unsigned and independent artists.  “Lights Go Out was written by me and our former guitar player Bryan Parsons.  We wrote quite a few tunes together and many of them are finally seeing the light of day on the new album.   Our sound is slightly heavier from our three-song EP, Beauty, but will have the danceable pop/rock feel, “ said Bollert in a recent interview.  After The Lounge, wsg The Wired, will celebrate the arrival of their new CD with a performance at London Ribfest on Monday, August 2nd, 8:00 p.m. in Victoria Park.

 


AFTER THE LOUNGE, Echo Weekly

 

London-based After the Lounge plan to rock Kitchener’s The Hive, April 2nd.  Infiltrating their sets between classic rock hits and their originals, the band has been on tour since 2001.

 

            “In the new age of technology the internet is our greatest tool.  Facebook is always our biggest way of reaching out to the public,” primary songwriter for the band, Scott Bollert, tells me. “Print, radio and T.V. always contacted also to spread the word the band is coming.”

 

            He goes on to mention that while on tour in Ontario, the band plans to make frequent pit stops to the States. “Ontario as a whole is our hometown and we play it all regularly. Unfortunately a lot of bands think working on traveling Canada and pushing there music to radio gets them ‘famous’. We believe creating a buzz is in the U.S. market will spill over to Canada.”

 

            Calling this weekend’s planned performance a “purely intense rock and roll show,” Bollert advises new bands and musicians to not “stop working hard and don't think getting signed means you have made it.”

 


 

After The Lounge hits the studio

Posted By BARBARA SIMPSON, SIMCOE REFORMER

After the Lounge is showing there is really life after the lounge -- in the confines of a studio.

Following five years touring nonstop, the London-based band, headed by Simcoe native Scott Bollert, finally hunkered down to create its first full-length album. However, its finished product Lights Go Out thrives on the band's energetic presence honed on the stage over the years.

"If I would have stopped and looked around, I would have realized we played too much," admitted Bollert, who added the band would play up to 100 shows each year.

While the eight-song disc only required three days to record, After the Lounge spent months rehearsing for the album. What rose from those months of toil is a danceable album produced by Darren Morrison, of London's Big Room Studios.

"He took everything we did in the past and he made them epic," Bollert said.

The band also tapped into the expertise of Hollywood-based sound engineer Stephen Marsh. He has mastered tracks for the likes of Barenaked Ladies, Incubus and Korn.

The art of mastering is vital in the digital age, he added. That's why the band took its time in committing to a producer and sound engineer. It wanted to create a record with quality sound.

"The mastering process is a big part of it," Bollert said.

With its first full-length album under its collective belt, the eight-year- old band has an ambitious slate of further recording sessions lined up. It plans to release a live album featuring a hodgepodge of recordings from various concerts. It will also return to the studio to work on a new album in February 2011.

"Now it's time to make up for lost time," Bollert added.After the Lounge will also return to the road. It is organizing the Band of Brothers tour, a throwback style of touring where independent bands would hit the vast countryside together.

"Back in the days of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, they would get together and roll into town together," he said.

Its first stop will be at Port Dover's The Brig (Norfolk Tavern) on June 11. It will be joined by the Mudmen, fronted by the bag-piping Campbell brothers who created the new Hockey Night in Canada theme song.

"They're just a phenomenal band," Bollert added. "They're Canada's children of rock 'n roll."

The local band Lazy Hamma will also open the show, he added. He said it's always a treat for him to return home to see family and friends.

"Coming home is always a big deal," he said. "I love the area. I would live there if my career allowed me to."

Doors open at 9 p.m. for the Port Dover show. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Partial proceeds will benefit Norfolk's Relay for Life. Advanced tickets can be purchased at all Harry's locations and Erie Music.

Barbara Simpson 519-426-3528, ext. 112 bsimpson@bowesnet.com

Article ID# 2618976


Ribfest musical lineup revealed

Posted By TARA HAGAN, THE OBSERVER April 2010

This year's Ribfest may just be the biggest and best yet.

So says event chair Dave Johnson, who's hoping for record numbers at the 12th annual event, to be held July 23 to 26.

"It's probably one of the best lineups we've ever had," said Johnson, noting headliners include Jason Blaine and Rik Emmett.

"If this doesn't draw 'em in, I don't know what will."

This year's Ribfest -- the main fundraiser for the Sarnia Kinsmen Club -- will feature rib vendors competing for coveted titles, including the "People's Choice" award, and a lineup of more than a dozen acts.

The event will kick off Thursday, July 23 at noon.

Taking the stage that evening will be three local bands: Finding Core, After the Lounge and Hydrosmith.

On Friday, Chatham's Jade Lester -- who won Ribfest's Youth Talent Search in 2008 -- will perform with her new band.

"It's pretty neat that she's coming back," said Johnson. "I really like that."

Joining Lester for the Friday night lineup are London's Shelly Rastin, Sarnia's Scott Manery and the Barnburners, and headliner Jason Blaine -- a Canadian country singer from Pembroke, Ont. All three are familiar with Centennial Park, as former Bayfest performers, including Blaine, who opened for Tim McGraw last year.

"It's a huge lineup for country fans," said Johnson.

On Saturday, Painkiller Jane, Wild Domestic, and VanScott will open for headliner Rik Emmett -- former lead singer of the Canadian hard rock band, "Triumph."

"There's lots to do this year," said Johnson, noting the return of the "exotic critters" exhibit, Carter Shows, the Youth Talent Search, and "Fernandez the Hypnotist."

And of course, there's the ribs. "We're looking for eight vendors this year," he said. "And as always, admission is free, but donations are accepted at the gate."

Proceeds from Ribfest are used to assist more than 50 organizations, everything from the Sarnia Minor Athletic Association to the Humane Society.

The event, which relies on donations from the public, typically brings in $35,000 to $45,000 -- but the weather is always a huge factor.

"We pretty much got rained out last year," said Johnson, noting some disappointing numbers. "We really need to have everything go off without a hitch this year if we want this thing to continue."

thagan@theobserver.ca

 


After The Lounge returns to Norfolk

After the Lounge, featuring Norfolk native Scott Bollert, will be returning to the local area with a show this Friday night at the Norfolk Tavern in Port Dover.

It will likely be the last time the band is in the area until next spring. The band has decided to focus less on the club scene in order to complete its album, Lights Go Out. With almost 70 shows last year and just under 100 this year, the group finds it difficult to be productive with writing and recording.

Band members plan to finish their song entitled, Lights Go Out, and start on the next EP for release in 2010.

ATL is currently recording with Big Room Studios producer, Darren Morrison who holds recording credits of Bill Durst as well as many other well known names. The tracks will then be sent to Los Angeles to be mastered by the legendary Stephen Marsh. Marsh is behind such names as Barenaked Ladies, Incubus and Korn.

The band is in negotiations with a handful of different labels for distribution.

Lights Go Out will headline the full length album followed by the band's regularly performed songs, Fever Coming On, University Girls and Before My Eyes. Lights Go Out is also part of an Indie Compilation, New Faces New Music Vol. 3 released last month in Las Vegas by Radio RNR. This will contribute to the American dates added to the Canadian Tour already planned for the new album.

Last month, the 2009 You Discover Concert Series chose ATL out of hundreds of bands to perform as part of the Top 28 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The group played for 1,000 fans on a massive stage alongside the falls and the fireworks. You Tube videos can be seen on the band's website at www.afterthelounge.com.

The boys of After The Lounge have also been recording video footage of antics, interviews and shows for a DVD entitled Road To The Top, due for release with the Lights Go Out album.

After The Lounge hits the stage at 10 p.m. on Friday night.

 


In The Lounge

An original tune, “Lights Go Out” by London pop/rock group After The Lounge has been chosen by Radio RNR from Las Vegas, Nevada for inclusion on their on New Music, New Faces Vol. 3, a compilation series of original music from unsigned and independent artists.   The tune will also be the title tack of the group’s forthcoming album.

“Lights Go Out was written by me and our former guitar player Bryan Parsons.  We wrote quite a few tunes together and many of them are finally see the light of day on the new album.  Our sound is slightly heavier from our last album, Beauty, but will have that danceable pop/rock feel.”  said lead vocalist Gregory Scott Bollert.

Formed in 2001, After The Lounge is comprised of Bollert, guitarist Christopher Eveland, bassist Jefferson Sheppard and drummer Carlos La Torre.   While the bands anxious to release their new album, they’re thrilled that they will gain exposure through the New Music compilation.

“We are happy to have an immediate release of material as our album has taken longer than anticipated.  ATL and Radio RNR did both agree that the single, Lights Go Out will perfect for the compilation.  Radio RNR will distribute the CD online for digital downloads through CD Baby’s partners, including iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Napster, Rhapsody, Verizon V-Cast and GroupieTunes. 

At the present time After The Lounge is negotiating with a number of major labels for distribution of their full-lenth album.  Engineered and produced by Darren Morrison and master by Stephen March, the album is close to completion and should be ready for later this summer.

John Sharpe

Scene Magazine London, Ontario

 

 



 

Rockin' the boat at Pottahawk

Posted By Ashley House, SIMCOE REFORMER

You don't need a boat to get yourself to the annual Pottahawk Point party.

Thousands of boats launch from the north shore of Lake Erie every second Sunday in July for a party on the water. If you don't have a boat, don't worry -- just hitch a ride.

Josh Erskine and Matt Ward from the Hamilton area both missed their boat rides early yesterday morning and hitched a ride with Nathan and Donna Hutter from Simcoe.

"No, we've never done this before," Nathan Hutter said.

But dock hand Lewis Metcalfe, who works at MacDonald Turkey Point Marina, said he sees it all the time.

"You're not supposed to hitchhike out there but it happens," he said. "We kick them out. Earlier this morning, 13-year-old kids were offering $75 to get a ride out to Pottahawk."

But the more the merrier is most people's attitude when it comes to the annual party.

Boats lined the coast of the small island a few kilometres from Norfolk County's shoreline. Thousands launched from Turkey Point, Port Rowan, Long Point, St. Williams and Port Dover. They drop anchor two or three kilometres down the coast, three or four rows deep to sit, drink, dance, mingle and relax.

"It's great just to hang out with family and friends out on the water and under the sun," said Melissa Lancaster of Brantford.

Lancaster and her family stay away from all the hoopla that takes place behind the rows of boats in knee-deep water.

"Away from the crazies," said Jack Robillard.

It's true that behind the boats, just off the shore, is where the large amounts of "wobbly pops" are consumed, where girls take their tops off and move to the dance music. They also set off fireworks, hoot and holler and toss around the football. The band After the Lounge entertained from a barge.

And while most of it is all good-natured fun in the sun, sometimes it can lead to trouble. Norfolk OPP's marine patrol, along with the Canadian Coast Guard and OPP from across Southwestern Ontario were on hand to keep an eye on everyone.

"We don't want to stop Pottahawk party," said OPP Mark Foster. "We just want everyone to be safe."

With close calls of broken necks (jumping into shallow water), near boat collisions and a drowning at last year's event, Foster said sometimes people think it's a free for all.

"But it's not," he said. "There are some serious risks and we want to be sure people are being safe."

Lancaster and her friends are grateful for the increased police presence.

"It makes for a more enjoyable day and safe party," said Tracy Storr. "Even for those partiers who don't want police around, they don't realize that it's because of them that we go home after and not to the hospital."

Norfolk OPP marine patrol caught two impaired boat drivers Saturday night. They were on full alert Sunday. On land, Norfolk OPP had numerous ride programs going in and out of the lakeshore communities.

 

 



 

Pottahawk boaters ready to party

More Than 1,000 Boats Expected This Weekend

Posted By Ashley House, SIMCOE REFORMER

Like the bikers who flock to Port Dover on Friday the 13th, boaters will flood the waters of Lake Erie this weekend for this year's Pottahawk party.

The annual event sees more than 1,000 boats arrive with passengers to enjoy the sun, sand and music off the coast of Pottahawk Point.

"It's like Friday the 13th but for the marinas," said Larry Christiaen, president of Pottahawk Enterprises Inc., which organizes many of the festivities on the water. "There is so much business for the marinas along Erie's north shore this weekend. Being a tourism county, we have to keep this tradition going."

DJ Spin Doctor Rob Bollert and London rock/dance band After the Lounge will keep people groovin' on Sunday playing on barges at either end of the beach.

But the party really gets going Saturday night.

While many consider Turkey Point as the unofficial start to Pottahawk party, Christiaen has also brought the festivities to Port Dover after selling the family marina in Turkey Point.

After the Lounge, with local singer Scott Bollert, Boogie Band, Maxout (which includes former members of Max Webster and Mitch Ryder), and the Detroit Wheels are all lined up to play at Port Dover's Pier Saturday night.

"It's a bridge between the young and old," Christiaen said. "We've got After the Lounge for the youth and bringing some nostalgia is Maxout and Mitch Ryder."

The Pottahawk Party, which is a tradition that dates back more than 50 years, attracts boaters from across southern Ontario and American neighbours from Erie and New York State.

Brad Thomson, owner of MacDonald Turkey Point Marina, said overnight dockage is already booked up, as are many transient slips across Norfolk's lakefront.

And marinas won't be the only businesses to benefit from this weekend.

"Motels, campgrounds, eateries and restaurants will also be packed," Christiaen said. "This is great for everyone."

Norfolk OPP will be out in full force on the water, along with the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP and officers from other OPP detachments in southern Ontario.

Last year, a 48-year-old Stoney Creek man went missing from a boat that was headed back to a marina. His body was found two days later in the water near Port Rowan.

Christiaen is stressing that boaters have a fun and safe time.

"We can't stress enough to have a designated driver whether on the boat or when you get back on land," Christiaen said.

A shuttle boat from Port Dover Harbour Marina to Pottahawk Point is also available from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.