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Inaugural Newmarket punk rock festival supporting food pantry

Newmarket Scream, the inaugural Halloween heavy music event put on by Newmarket Loud, is Oct. 27 and 28 at Ten Gallon Bar and Grill
Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold are one of 17 bands playing at Newmarket Scream.

With punk rock’s rich history of giving back to the community, the upcoming Newmarket Scream festival will be donating all proceeds from the two-night event to the Newmarket Food Pantry.

All of those who attend the inaugural Halloween music festival on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 at Ten Gallon Bar and Grill have to bring a non-perishable donation. 

The festival is being put on by Newmarket Loud, a newly formed organization that puts on monthly punk and metal shows in York Region and Simcoe County to fundraise and raise awareness for various issues.

“Leading up to this, it had been four band nights,” said Gavin Parkes, founder of Newmarket Loud. “Now we’ve got 17 bands coming out and everything is going to the Newmarket Food Pantry.”

Parkes said they initially created Newmarket Loud to help support the local music scene coming out of the pandemic, especially with Newmarket’s ties to heavy music, and the fundraising aspect of it has always gone hand in hand with this particular genre.

“Our history dates back to the early 2000s and all throughout, these shows have always been awareness and charity events,” he said. “Giving back is what musicians do. It’s important to go out and give back to your community, whether you’re playing in a show or going to a show.”

Ahead of Newmarket Scream, Parkes and Newmarket Loud did a tour of the Newmarket Food Pantry for social media to inform the community about how important a cause this is, especially with the cost of living these days.

“They’ve always been our door charity with proceeds going to them at all of our events,” he said. “I wanted people, musicians, and fans to have an in-depth education on what exactly is happening in our community and to learn about our local heroes who are doing really good work.”

Parkes said that there’s a lot of excitement around the scene about Newmarket Scream, especially with the bands playing pro bono. 

One of those bands is Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold, a Canadian band coming off their U.S. tour and playing Newmarket for the first time.

“I’m a huge lover of all things Halloween and it’s a fundraiser for a more than worthy cause,” said Perry. “People are always struggling around this time of year.”

Perry said it was a no-brainer to come to Newmarket and play at the festival given the charitable aspect of it and her band taking pride in aligning themselves with positive causes.

“As a musician it’s important to me to be a positive role model and advocate,” she said. “If you’re in a position to influence people in a positive way, why would you not do it? It’s about being socially responsible.”

Although she won’t reveal what her band is dressing up as for Newmarket Scream, Perry said they’re ready to “rock people’s socks off” in Newmarket and they’re excited to play in a community with a strong rock scene.

“It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of southern Ontario talent all for a good cause,” she said. “It’s such a bonus to play a Halloween show that’s a fundraiser.”

Prizes for best costume will be awarded, but the most important part about the show is donating back to the Newmarket Food Pantry, said Parkes, with one non-perishable donation needed for entry.

“You’ve got to actually step up to the plate sometimes,” Parkes said. “The Newmarket heavy music community is stepping up and doing our part. It’s about doing the right thing.”

Newmarket Scream will be Oct. 27 from 7:15 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Oct. 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Ten Gallon Bar and Grill, 446 Davis Dr. Tickets are at the door with a one night pass being $15 and a two night pass being $20 and all proceeds going to the Newmarket Food Pantry.

Learn more about Newmarket Scream here and Newmarket Loud here.