The Barton Street community festival is back for the third time- and bigger than ever.
Since 2019, the born-and-raised Hamiltonian Ktriggs, or Kevin Williamson, has been hosting 905Fest: a free, community-run music festival that takes place on the last Sunday of August. Celebrated at Barton Street's Woodlands Park, Ktriggs began the festival as a way to give back to the communities that supported him growing up as an at-risk youth.
The event helps promote local businesses, artists and musicians by providing vendors and space for performers. The cost? A can of soup, peas, or any non-perishable to be donated to Living Rock Youth Services.
"I began prepping for this event about five months ago," said Williamson. "Which starts with getting all the permits for the city and creating partnerships with organizations, such as Living Rock Youth Services."
Ktriggs has been working tirelessly to put together 2022's event, and although the rapper started planning months in advance, the musician estimates he'll be working on elements of the fest until the very last day. "The big difference this year is the inclusion of a basketball competition for ages eight to fourteen, starting at 12:30pm," said Williamson. "The games will be half court, one-on-one matches, to eleven points. Local artists James Favron and ParkFromCC will be managing the games and registration, which begins at 12:00pm- there will also be prizes for the top three players, and pizza for all participants around 3:00pm!"
Expect an afternoon's worth of performances, as Ktriggs equipped ten local musicians, including: El Sancho, Bella V Music, Emma Brown, KP On Sax, Ello Cin Daz, Remmori, World Peace, Slur, Tarek Funk, Devon Bateson- and of course, your host, Ktriggs himself.
The vendors attending 905Fest include: Hamilton Music Collective, LTtheMonk, Wentworth District, Hamilton Vape, SOPEN, Living Rock Youth Services, Jrose, Herbal Life, Blue is Beautiful Podcast, Chez Dante, Paintings By Becca, Sadly Ciara, McMagical Design, Jake T, Delusional Sauces and Nick La Rocca. "Other local Hamilton business sponsoring our event as well as setting up vendors include: Long & McQuade Instruments, Cafe Oranje, Cowabunga Pizzeria, and local barber Logan Luong," said Williamson. "All of these local businesses and organizations have contributed to this years festival. The fest is also in association with graphic design specialist Because Design Matters, and my brand Freedom of Speech." Ward 3 councilor Nrinder Nann is said to be making an appearance, as well as a special guest speaker during the afternoon.
"The goals for this years 905Fest are to exceed last years totals in terms of non-perishable goods generated, which is the main goal of the event," said Williamson. "Another goal I set for this year was to involve more local organizations that also support the community and its youth. The third goal I set in mind for this year was to add more family friendly hip hop performances than in the past, since 905Fest is the home of Hamilton hip hop."
Kevin's future milestones for 905Fest include larger support from the city, and continued involvement of local youth organizations, hopefully broadening his event's exposure.
"I hope each person who comes to the event will, in their own way, have a greater understanding of Hamiltonian community support systems available to the youth," said Williamson. "I hope they will all take away a positive experience that they can remember going forward, and possibly come back again next year!"
Sunday, August 28th, 2022
Woodlands Park, 505 Barton Street East, L8L 2Y8. Hamilton, ON.
Live performances: 12:30pm-6:00pm Basketball: Registration @ 12:00pm Games: 12:30pm-4:00pm
FREE- with non-perishable donation.