Musicians have been hitting the stage at the Loco Amigos Mayhem Music Gathering in Red Deer.
The five-day music festival, which features performances from more than 20 bands, began Friday and wraps up Tuesday at Westerner Park.
Johnny McCuaig’s band Arcana King was the final act to perform on the festival’s first day. McCuaig said it was the band’s first live performance in about five months.
“There’s nothing like the feeling and connection you have with the crowd,” McCuaig said.
“Playing live music is kind of like a lifeline. It’s a healing thing, and when that gets taken away and cut off, you have to find other ways to express yourself. You kind of feel like a fish out of water sometimes without it.”
McCuaig said the band had to change up a few things when performing in front of people in their vehicles.
“It’s not a traditional show, when you can connect with a live audience right in front of you,” he said.
“You have to try to be more engaging to a listening audience and you perform however you can from a visual perspective, but the audio has to be there as well. It’s kind of an intimate show for everyone in their cars. You want to create an experience for them to have within the vehicle.”
Even though it was a very different show, McCuaig said he was thrilled to get on stage and play.
“It was incredible. The crew was great and it’s always fun to be on a stage and playing. It was rejuvenating and refreshing,” he said, adding he hopes other venues will begin hosting similar events in the future.
“Music is going to go through some ups and downs, and (live performances) are changing right now. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be a good thing. You’ve got to look at it as a new opportunity.”