On the weekend of July 11-13, 2014, Big Music Fest took place at Kitchener, ON’s McLennan Park headlined by rock superstars Aerosmith and Bryan Adams. As reported by the Waterloo Region Record, Big Music Fest 2014 provided a significant $7 million impact to the local economy, more than doubling the projected economic impact of $3 million prior to the festival.

Of the 60,000 attendees, nearly 65% of spectators came from within 50 kilometers of the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The other 35% was made up of out-of-province and international concert goers, arriving in Kitchener from nearly 15 states and as far as Australia, England and Japan.

Prior to his mayoral election victory in October of 2014, then-Councillor Barry Vrbanovic stressed the importance of music as an economic driver and ensured continued development of the live music scene in Kitchener’s downtown entertainment district as part of his platform. Vrbanovic also represented Kitchener at NXNE 2014’s Music Cities Exchange panel hosted by Music Canada and 4479, which featured public and private representatives from six cities that are working proactively to develop their local music sectors. Following the festival, Vrbanovic shared his appreciation for the festival via Twitter.

Big Music Fest is scheduled to return to McLennan Park in 2015 from July 10-12. In 2014, the opening Friday night was reserved for a free Battle of the Bands. A video recap of the free community event can be seen below: