Gussapolooza 2023: A Weekend Of Music, Art, And Creativity


Courtesy of Barrie 360, Marie GagnePublished: May 30th, 2023

Calling all music lovers and creative souls. It’s time to get ready for an unforgettable weekend! Gussapolooza Music Festival is back, and it promises to be an extraordinary event celebrating independent music, art, and creativity.


While this will only be the festival’s second year in Cookstown, Gussapolooza has been around since 2017. Before Cookstown, it was held on 5 acres of private property in Holland Landing, Ontario.

Gussapolooza founder Russ Robson explains, “It started off as a kind of backyard party for a couple traveling local emerging bands and everybody got together on a Friday night. We made a stage out of a pickup truck and a few rafters.” But the event quickly grew and so many bands showed up that it lasted for three days.”

In fact, there were so many bands and people the organizers didn’t know that they started to call everyone “Gus”.

Russ shares, “That’s where the name Gussapolooza came from … Gus turned into the emerging saint for indie artists in the area.”

Today, Gussapolooza has become even bigger. It’s not just your average music festival. It’s an immersive experience that embraces emerging artists from all walks of life, cultivates a thriving community of music enthusiasts, and serves as a hub for artists and creators to collaborate and forge lifelong connections.


This year’s lineup is a testament to Gussapolooza’s dedication to discovering the next big names in music with dozens of performers, including last year’s grand prize winners:

  • The Human Drive from Toronto
  • Shoemaker Levee from Newmarket
  • Francesca Pennetta from Thornton
Patricia Dent

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