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905Fest 2023: A Recap

Community supporter Kevin Williamson lives by his motto, "community over competition" when organizing his annual hip hop festival.

2023 marks the fourth year of the hip-hop music festival 905 Fest, created and run by Kevin Williamson, or Ktriggs, a born-and-raised Hamiltonian and rapper. For the first time since its inception, the festival was given the opportunity to organize at Bayfront Park instead of the usual Woodlands Park on Barton, allowing hundreds of Hamiltonians easier access to the annual hip hop event.

Photo credits: SJ Rintjema

Organizing through the philosophy to 'think globally, act locally,' Williamson is a crucial Hamiltonian community activist and organizer, a Hamiltonian through-and-through who often cites his impoverished upbringing and time living houseless as motivators. Kevin understands the power and necessity of supporting small and local, showing in his dedication to his slogan 'community over competition,' a brand the artist backs up by collecting donations every 905 Fest for Living Rock Youth Resources, a resource centre for at-risk youth.

Highlighting local business and artisans, 905 Fest 2023 featured art-makers and beauty professionals like Sadly Ciara, @da_real_malcolmx, The Design, Styled with Kare, Urban Bead Kin, Luv Me Knot, Aesthetic Nineteen, and Sunday Beauty. Alongside the artists were clothing designers and other artisans, like Jake Tee Clothing, Juke Box Gallery, MER, and The Give & Goes.

Photo credits: SJ Rintjema

905 Fest kept their festival-goers full with food vendors like Angels Wings Devils Poutine food truck, Arabica Foods food truck, Raw Roots, Extreme Chill freeze dried snacks, Suya Boyz, Sharpe Cravings baked goods, Canokie Sauce and Mina's Cookie Jar cookies.

Living Rock wasn't the only organization included to support, however, as Williamson made sure to save booths for other important Hamiltonian causes, like the Student Overdose Prevention Network, Hamilton Hub, and Hamont Youth.

Running from 11am-10:30pm, this year's Fest was an all-day event, with different musicians performing every 15-45mins. Ktriggs pulled out his contacts for 2023's festival, with a whopping 20 performers and entertainers set to play at Bayfront Park. Starting with DJ Grind Abrasion, Eshe + Steel City Slither, Bellv, Emerald B, Boxcar Ben, Devin Bateson, Darcy Mitchison, Angel J, JP, Lex Wilson, James Favron, KP on Sax, MER, Oliver Joseph, V!llah, Spooky Guava, Caerpackage, Tr4th, The Give & Goes, DJ Gigizan, and the Chez Dante Podcast who wandered throughout.

Photo credits: SJ Rintjema

Although sponsored by Hamiltonian organizations and businesses, Williamson often pulls from his personal funds to help pay for festival costs. Organizing the blockbuster festival Supercrawl, a yearly event that was created by Sonic Unyon and funded with millions of dollars, is a walk in the park when your livelihood isn't on the line. For Ktriggs, a man who grew up experiencing poverty and houselessness, those options were never made available to him. The young, grassroots 905Fest is a reflection of Williamson's unwavering drive, love and dedication to uplifting his community.

Mark your calendars for 905 Fest 2024- this is a proudly #hamont event that you won't want to miss out on.


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