By: Mike Holuj
With FolkFest around the corner, Mark Monahan and his marketing team are gearing up for the most aggressive rebranding campaign the city has ever seen. Since renaming the festival to “CityFolk” and relocating to Lansdowne Park for the 2015 season, Ottawa citizens have been slow on the uptake for the new name.
Folk superfan and beard enthusiast Robin Beam certainly seems to question the change. “I leave my log cabin every September for FolkFest, but since they changed the name to CityFolk, I’m not so sure anymore,” says Beam. “We’ve got BluesFest, JazzFest, ChamberFest, GreekFest, and we used to have FolkFest. It’s like FolkFest left the Fest family, and it makes the folk fans sad. No one calls it CityFolk. It’s an awkward name. FolkFest rolls off the tongue because of the alliteration. I think people will be calling it FolkFest for years to come until Mark loses his power as the Festival King.”
Monahan is adamant that “Cityfolk” is the permanent new name of the folk festival in Ottawa. His marketing campaign includes posters and signs literally everywhere, mail ads, bus stop ads, radio ads, television ads, and even skywriting. The festival also comes with the horrible named local musician showcase “Marvest”, which Mark insists is a clever portmanteau of “musical” and “harvest”, but in actuality is just a horrible name.
In the words of Mean Girls’ Regina George, “Stop trying to make [CityFolk] happen. It’s not going to happen.”