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Mariposa, beyond the main stage

Many Mariposa memories made on side stages

What do you get when North American country and Swedish folk music collide?

“A good blend,” believe it or not, according to Nancy Leek.

The Waterloo resident was at the Barnfield stage Saturday at the Mariposa Folk Festival, where Orillia’s Zachary Lucky and his band were performing with Sweden’s Fränder.

It was one of many collaborations that are happening on side stages throughout Tudhope Park during the festival.

Some say that’s where the real Mariposa magic happens.

“The best workshops are the ones where everyone comes together and is willing to jam,” said Maureen Peirce, of Toronto.

She has been attending the festival for 10 years and often finds herself drawn to the side stages.

“The best are the ones who don’t have egos,” she said.

Indeed, the side stages are not the place for one act to try to steal the show. It’s all about finding a common bond despite differing musical styles.

“We’re from totally different places, but there’s a common language: music,” Lucky said after his set with Fränder.

Rarely do the musicians rehearse before taking to the side stages. They go with the flow.

“It’s sort of like walking a tightrope. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Lucky said. “Most of the time, it works out if people are receptive and open minded.”

Those workshops, as they’re called, “are one of my favourite parts about doing the festival,” added Lucky, who also performed at Mariposa in 2014.

“It’s the sonic possibilities. When have you heard a Swedish mandola and a pedal steel together?”

The sounds were complementary rather than clashing, Leek said.

“It was perfect music in the park,” she said.

The workshops are happening all weekend. Find a schedule at

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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