Extreme Mudfest partners with Ag Society and looks to the City for a portion of the funding for this year’s event

Last Updated: May 25, 2023By

Extreme Mudfest is solidifying itself as a Cold Lake event by partnering with the Cold Lake Ag Society to execute and share in the success of the annual summer festival.

Billie Jo Aasen, president of The Festival Company and promoter/producer of Extreme Mudfest, presented to City Council on Tuesday evening alongside Dean Dube with the Cold Lake Ag Society to get Council up-to-date on this year’s event, as well as to request funding assistance and in-kind support from the City.

The pair announced a full partnership between the two parties.

“Mudfest is Canada’s largest mud and music festival,” confirmed Aasen. This will be the second year that the festival has been held in Cold Lake. Previously it was held in Bonnyville. The festival has been active for ten years.

With the move to Cold Lake came a lot of expenses to build up the grounds. Aasen explained that the grounds needed to be built for both the derby, mudbog and races, as well as for camping.

This year the Ag Society and Mudfest have also expanded the campgrounds to allow for more people to stay on site. However, the reserved campsites are sold out and the “first come, first serve” sites have gone very quickly in the past.

As such, the festival is requesting the City have a bus available to transport people to and from local hotels. With the City’s commitment to this request, Mudfest will be able to approach the local hotels to ensure they block off rooms for the festival goers.

Lack of accommodations was one of the problems Mudfest would like to solve quickly, explained Aasen.

“Seventy-five percent of our attendees come from outside a seventy kilometre radius,” stated Aasen.

Mudfest Plans

The event will kick off Wednesday evening with a Battle of the Bands. “The winners will open the mainstage for Finger Eleven and James Baker Band,” Aasen explained the opportunity available to the competitors. This will highlight and support local talent, and the evening will be free for attendees, or they can donate to the Clayton Bellamy Foundation for the Arts.

On Thursday, there will be extreme bull riding for the kick-off party.

The main events start on Friday with all of the extreme motorsports. “We have racers from all over Canada and the US that come,” confirmed Aasen. There will be mega trucks, tough trucks, mod stock, demolition derby, lawn mower racing, mud drags, and more.

Following the races, Finger Eleven will play on the main stage, with a dance to follow in the hall.

Saturday will look much the same as Friday but with the James Barker Band on the main stage. There will also be an extreme mud run for charity.

Sunday is the family day. The tickets are reduced to $35, which includes all the races.

Kids 12 years old and under are free to attend Mudfest.

Locals Support Locals

Five dollars from every ticket sold on Sunday will go towards a new initiative to get art supplies for local schools. “We’re really excited about this. We’ve partnered with Lakeland Connect [for the initiative], called ‘Locals Support Locals’,” Aasen explained.

“We have a $100 fee for vendors to come out for the weekend. We’re also taking those fees and putting them towards the ‘Locals Support Locals’ initiative,” Aasen said that in talking with local schools art supplies are something that is greatly needed.

Mudfest employs 90 percent of local staff and intends to increase that to 95 percent this year. “We work with a multitude of local charities,”  Aasen said. These charities help execute the event and are given wages for their work to use towards their charity initiatives.

The Ask

Extreme Mudfest has asked City Council to support the festival with $20,000.

Funds will go towards marketing and production expenses. Marketing expenses include graphic design, social media content creation, signage, advertising, and posters. Production expenses include staging, sound equipment rentals, backline instrument rentals, sound engineers, motorsport track building, security, and ticketing.