The fifth and final edition of CannaFest rocked Grand Forks for three days last week, showcasing a lineup of talent that spanned more than half a century of debut albums.
On Friday night, Vancouver band Marianas Trench attracted arguably the youngest front-row audience of any act at the festival, but gained many new fans sitting in their lawn chairs further away, waiting for the classics to appear. Marianas Trench, who put out their first album in 2006, were followed by legends of surf rock, The Beach Boys. By comparison, the latter band’s debut album started spinning on listeners’ turntables in 1962.
Saturday’s acts and fans pushed through pouring rain and 30-minute breaks for thunder storms to close out the weekend. Though Snake Oil and Warrant’s sets were cut short by the threat of lightning, Snake Oil kept the devotees singing and dancing late after final act Bret Michaels had wrapped up his show.
Though 2019 was the last year of CannaFest, festival coordinator Chuck Varabioff said that he has partnered with Kiss legend Gene Simmons to rebrand the Grand Forks music weekend into “Titans of Rock.” Under the new name, organizers hope that they can continue to grow the festival to attract bigger bands.