[Before it was sold off and turned into an industrial area, Molson Park in Barrie was one of the great outdoor concert venues in all of Canada. With a capacity of somewhere around 35,000 people, it was the site of dozens and dozens of summer shows in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Contributor Gilles LeBlanc has great memories of attending MP shows. Do you have any? – AC]
You know what I miss more than concerts? Going to concerts at Molson Park in Barrie. From CFNY-FM’s very first Edgefest in 1987 to Neil Young and “All-Star Ensemble” closing out the Canadian portion of Live 8, Molson Park was a magical location to experience live music. And I’m not referring to any mushrooms others may have consumed, or how the site doubled as a massive grow op in the early aughts.
Growing up in the westernmost hinterlands of the GTA, I looked forward to leaving my suburban cocoon several times a summer to hike up Highway 400 so as to take in all the sights and sounds, even if the commute there was oftentimes longer than the actual time spent at Molson Park. Yes, big-ticket shows took place at the much closer-to-me CNE Stadium, but I’ve always felt that alternative rock was something that needed to be sought out and therefore more rewarding if you made an adventure out of it.
This August 25th, I will be joining Toronto Mike’s world-renowned podcast to discuss some of our shared Molson Park Memories. We’ll Kick Out the Jams from the ten most significant shows at the place where you can now shop Best Buy, Marshalls and Cabela’s off “Concert Way”, but I want your help! Please leave a comment of what yer favourites were; don’t worry, The Tragically Hip will be well represented so don’t be afraid to spread the music love around. Eagerly awaiting the flood of #MolsonParkMemories.