Feastival’s first Canadian edition announces sponsors

MEC, Creemore Springs, Sobeys and more will join the festival, which is projected to attract 10,000 people daily this weekend.
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The Big Feastival, the large-scale outdoor food and music festival started in the U.K. by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, is readying it first-ever Canadian event with a handful of sponsors ready to greet the hungry crowds this weekend.

The festival has announced six sponsors for its debut weekend in the Central Ontario town of Oro-Medonte. Outdoor equipment retailer MEC, beer brand Creemore Springs, winemaker Jacob’s Creek, the Eska bottle water brand, Ontario Toyota Dealers and Sobeys are all on-site.

Judy Merry, event director for IMG (which operates the Canadian event), said her team has worked with sponsors to integrate them into the event as much as possible. MEC, for example, not only sponsored the camping area, but has also set up a lounge that provides games, batteries and other sundries to those roughing it over the weekend. The company is also offering outdoor training and fitness classes. Ontario Toyota Dealers, meanwhile, are operating a fairground.

The Big Feastival launched in 2011 as joint venture between Taste Festivals and Jamie Oliver. Featuring top-tier chefs and bands, the British event garners about 25,000 attendees per day, Merry said. The Canadian team is projecting daily attendance of 10,000 people daily over its three-day run.

“It’s been running in the U.K. for six years, so we really know the demographic we’re going after,” Merry said. “It’s 30- to 45-year-olds who have families and are a little nostalgic for music festivals and fairs they used to go.”

The Canadian event partnered with Food Network Canada personality Chuck Hughes and brings in a number of high-profile chefs such as Vikram Vij and Amy Rosen for presentations, book signings and workshops. Musical acts will include Weezer, OK Go, De La Soul and The Stumbellas, among others.