Interstellar Rodeo bows out of Winnipeg

2018 festival cancelled; organizer cites free concerts for disappointing Rodeo turnout


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After three years, Interstellar Rodeo's time in Winnipeg has come to an end.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/10/2017 (1873 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After three years, Interstellar Rodeo’s time in Winnipeg has come to an end.

The August music-and-wine festival is cancelling its 2018 event and will be leaving the Winnipeg market, organizers announced Thursday morning. 

The Six Shooter Records-run festival, which brought in massive headliners such as Beck, Father John Misty and Broken Social Scene for the 2017 edition of their Winnipeg event, didn’t see the growth they were hoping for in terms of ticket sales due, in part, to the two weeks of free musical programming at the same location at The Forks as part of the Canada Summer Games.

Broken Social Scene perform Sunday night on the final day of this year's Interstellar Rodeo at The Forks. (Justin Samanski-Langille / Winnipeg Free Press files)

“My staff and I put our hearts and souls into Interstellar Rodeo Winnipeg for three years, as did the many dedicated and wonderful team leaders and volunteers who made this festival the jewel that it was,” said Interstellar’s producer Shauna de Cartier in an email sent to rodeo bosses (team leaders) late Wednesday afternoon. 

“In 2017, we made every effort to ramp up (more than double) our talent and production budgets to achieve the growth targets we needed to make the festival viable. And while we’re not a company to shy away from competing against other ticketed events, it’s not realistic to expect that we would have been able to achieve these targets when contending with the unexpected challenge and impact of two weeks of free, like-minded programming in the same venue right before our own festival.

“We are very proud of our fantastic years in Winnipeg and grateful to our partners, our sponsors, our volunteers and our loyal patrons for creating so many great memories and good times.”

De Cartier confirmed the news to the Free Press, saying though the dates had already been announced for the 2018 festival, the idea of ending the Winnipeg run of Interstellar Rodeo was something her team had been pondering since before the 2017 event. 

“We knew the ticket sales going in weren’t going to meet our expectations but we wanted to take some time to go through the numbers and really make a decision from a place of knowledge and calmness, so we took our time making the decision,” she says.

“It was so great, it was really a special festival I thought, something about the energy of it all really made it seem like a different kind of experience and people loved it. I loved it.”

The Edmonton edition of Interstellar Rodeo will continue on as planned for the weekend of July 20-22. To see the full statement from Six Shooter about the cancellation, visit the festival’s website.

Twitter: @NireRabel

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Updated on Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:22 PM CDT: Updates link.

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