West Island band hosts COVID-friendly ‘Homesheaga’ yardfest

On Saturday July 25, indie-folk band The Day Dreamers hosted Homesheaga — an homage to their favourite summer festival and a feel-good night that felt necessary this summer.

After cancelling their entire summer touring and performance schedule, including shows in Montreal, at Ottawa Bluesfest and more, the female-fronted band was dying to perform. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening in Quebec and the city of Montreal re-opening, the band found the perfect opportunity to fulfill this desire and the desire of many of their closest friends and family to engage with live music again.

Singer and guitarist Ali Kouri organized the show in the backyard of her family house in Beaconsfield. Masks were mandatory, social-distancing was required, and guests were to stick to their bubble. Even the band performed in a socially-distanced manner, as none of the members live in the same household.

Earlier that day, Kouri went door to door handing letters to her neighbours, explaining the situation, letting them know there would be some “noise” that evening, and attaching an invite to the show. She also included her phone number in case they had any concerns throughout the night.

As the band was getting ready to perform, guests were arriving with lawn chairs and blankets and spreading out across the lawn. Nerves were high, wondering if one wrong move might shut the entire event down — even despite following the necessary precautions.

The Day Dreamers were ecstatic, and all at once at ease, to see, amidst a cheering crowd, quite a few of their neighbours in attendance. Even in the days following, Kouri received texts and calls from her neighbours, praising the performance and the band’s sound. “There is no better feeling than a sense of community,” says Kouri, who was so happy that the band’s performance was well received by her neighbours and that the work they put in to Homesheaga was worth it; Not only to be able to perform, but to also create a temporary normalcy during this tumultuous time and remind people of the joys of music and live performance.

The Day Dreamers can be found on the following social media/streaming services:

— The Day Dreamers

— AB

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