Cabin Fever – two nights of live music and good company – was a few months late this year, but none the less was a hit for the wait.
“It’s usually in March, when people start to get a bit crazy, feeling cooped up,” said organizer Dana Cross. “But it took us a while to get it together this year.”
Cross now lives in Edmonton and was hired to do the sound for the NWT Association of Communities conference on the Hay River Reserve last week. He said he had been trying to get Cabin Fever organized from afar for months, but that last week “the stars aligned.”
“I could be here, the musicians were all free, everything worked out perfectly,” he told The Hub on Saturday night at the Back Eddy.
Thirteen acts performed over two nights for a packed house at the restaurant, a number slightly higher than other years. Cross credits the high number of artists per capita in Hay River.
“We have a lot of musicians in the community, and they have a lot of friends,” he said, waving to tables in the restaurant filled with people there supporting their fellows. “There’s a lot of talent here.”
Jayne Hayward, a proponent of arts in the community, said the event was a success despite the delay.
“I think it’s been getting better every year,” she said. “And it seems to be growing in popularity.”
Cabin Fever started as an initiative by Music NWT in Yellowknife, eventually growing to Hay River and Inuvik. When the funding from the organization dried up, Cross said Hay River artists were largely left on the their own, but they kept the tradition going.
“People like to support live music in Hay River,” he said. “It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does, it’s really something special.”