A collection of moments I captured while enjoying the festivities on Friday evening and Saturday.
By Ryan McGreal
Published September 16, 2012
this article has been updated
This collection of photos isn't meant to be exhaustive or representative of everyone's experience at Supercrawl; it's just a collection of moments I captured while enjoying the festivities on Friday evening and Saturday.
The weather angels like Hamilton. Last weekend, the heavy rains of Friday night cleared up on Saturday morning for Locke Street Festival, and then the heavy rains of this past Friday afternoon cleared up in the evening for Supercrawl.
The weather angels like Hamilton.
On Friday night, only the street between Cannon and Barton was closed to automobile traffic. Hamilton's own Wax Mannequin opened the Colbourne Stage with a lively acoustic performance.
Wax Mannequin, performing with a lit candle on his head
The sidewalks were crowded south of Cannon for the Friday Night Art Crawl, while north of Cannon, a sizeable crowd enjoyed walking free and enjoying the live music. Attendance on Friday is estimated at 10,000-12,000.
A sizeable crowd gathered to enjoy Wax Mannequin
Next, Hamilton's retro-rockers Young Rival hit the stage. Unfortunately, the sound system was plagued with problems and the first couple of songs came out more or less as instrumentals.
Young Rival playing on the Colbourne Stage
Of course, there was plenty of action up and down James in addition to the main stage, from a spectacular marching drum band (Impact Percussion) to an old school beatbox-and-breakdance troupe.
People enjoyed walking the street
Beatboxing and breakdancing
Ikea from hell: assembling a large wooden sculpture
Viewers enjoyed a screening of Fellini's La Dolce Vita
Organic growths of hexagonal fabric adorned the streetwall
The statue on the Vasco de Gama Portuguese Centre overlooks the festivities
The AGH Art Annex was beautifully decorated - and hopping
More hexagonal patterns, this time in Lite-Brite
A man was showing off the Edison tube player he built by playing an original phonographic cylinder on it.
Edison tube player
We missed Zeus playing on the Colbourne Stage, but managed to catch Said The Whale. The sound system was still acting up, but they put on an amazing show nonetheless.
Said The Whale
A big crowd enjoyed the Said The Whale show
The completed sculpture, looking a lot like my first attempt to assemble an Ikea loft bed
Saturday got off to a slow start, as the King James Stage took a long time to set up once James was closed north of King. Unfortunately, the Highnote Ramblers were bumped so that the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and hip hop poet C.R. Avery could perform not too long after 1:00 PM (about as good as an orchestra and a beatbox can be expected to sound). However, they played a set at 4:00 PM on the War Child busking stage.
Stage crew hang the SUPERCRAWL banner
On Saturday, James Street was closed to automobile traffic from King all the way past Barton Street, with vehicles crossing at Barton and Cannon. It didn't take long for the street to fill up with people.
People filling the street on Saturday afternoon
Hamilton Children's Choir
One of my highlights was finally getting to see Regina, Saskatchewan's Rah Rah perform. I had tickets to see them in 2009 when they were touring their first album, Going Steady, but the show started so late that I had given up and gone to bed before even the opening act came on. (Yes, I'm getting old.)
They have only gotten better since then, releasing a second album, Breaking Hearts, in 2010 and getting ready to release The Poet's Dead later this year.
A fantastically talented six-piece, the band members frequently raced around the stage to trade instruments - sometimes in the middle of a song.
Rah Rah after a position swap...
...and yet another!
The audience tosses around large inflatable letters R, A and H with the Lister in the background
I haven't heard how many people were in attendance on Saturday, but the number must be higher than last year's estimated 50,000. The street was crowded with people along its entire length from King to Barton - a significantly larger area than last year's street closure.
Crowds along James North
The crowds continue north of Cannon
A gorgeous fashion show out of Blackbird Studios featured magnificent dresses designed by Kiki and Buckshot that sported burlesque, gothic and punk stylings, while Siouxie and the Banshees' rendition of "Dear Prudence" floated over the crowd.
Blackbird Studios fashion show
At around 8:30 PM, the Circus Orange performed aerial acrobatics suspended from a crane over the corner of James and Wilson Street, while fireworks exploded overhead.
Circus Orange Acrobats
The silhouette of an acrobat is cast against the City Centre clock tower
After the show ended, we finally experienced some actual gridlock on a downtown Hamilton street - but the gridlock was in the crush of people trying to make their way toward the stage.
Lister at night: it should look like this every weekend.
As night fell, the Great Lake Swimmers pleased a growing crowd at the main stage.
Great Lake Swimmers
By the time K'Naan took to the stage, the space in front was completely packed with fans.
K'Naan himself was utterly delightful, his warmth and grace lighting the stage and lifting the audience as he lovingly performed his music with a full band. His show was rich with call-and-response, and he spoke movingly about the joy of writing a song and hearing the audience sing his own words back to him.
K'Naan uplifting his audience
Dancing Guy, who could be seen dancing his way through the festival all afternoon, was finally moved to a reverential stillness by the music.
Update: the Supercrawl organizers just published the following statement on their Facebook page:
After discussing the crowd sizes with the Hamilton Police, it appears that 12,000 people attended on Friday and about 70,000 people came to #Supercrawl2012 on Saturday. Thanks to everyone that made this year a success!
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