In The Dead of Winter Festival Announces the 2018 Lineup

(Halifax, NS) The annual In The Dead of Winter Festival returns to Halifax January 18, 19, and 20, 2018, for the festival’s 13th year, featuring some of the most exciting established and emerging artists from the East Coast and across North America.

For three action packed days in January, Halifax will host 25 acts, with performances at some of the city’s most popular music venues, The Carleton, Seahorse Tavern, The Marquee, and Good Robot Brewing Company. This year’s lineup showcases an impressive array of outstanding bands, singer-songwriters, and acoustic performers including Waxahatchee, Terra Lightfoot, Kaia Kater, and Fiver, along with emerging, Canadian artists including Lydia Persaud, Meagan Blanchard, and DanceMovie, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

New this year, the perennially popular Bluegrass Brunch will feature two seatings in order to accommodate demand, and as always, kids 5 and under are free! Seatings are at 10:30am and 12:30 on Saturday, January 20.

Executive Director Dana Beeler, of this year’s festival, gives some insight as to programming and shared some of the reasons why she believes this year’s festival will be the best yet:

Terra Lightfoot play in Halifax a couple months ago, and she’s a powerhouse. I think our audience will love her and her band, and it will be the perfect closing show for the 2018 event.”

As for Waxahatchee, Dana says, “I’ve really fallen in love with Waxahatchee, I think someone from the board mention her and I’ve been listening to her latest album on repeat for a couple months now. This show will be sweet and kind and badass all at the same time.”

When asked about Kaia Kater, Beeler says, “Kaia Kater is just so talented, her songwriting is dark and heart wrenching. This will be her first headlining spot in Nova Scotia, but she’s ready and I know our audience will love her.”

This year’s roster of headliners contains something for everyone, full schedule and links to purchase tickets are below.

Acclaimed Alabama-based folk/pop band Waxahatchee, tops this year’s line up, showcasing singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield’s Southern roots and unparallelled songwriting. The name the band comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama representing both where she came from and where she’s going. Waxahatchee has been recognized for Katie’s sharp, gorgeous songwriting, immersive band sound and “songs that play like fiery exorcisms.” Don’t miss Waxahatchee at the Seahorse Tavern, Friday, January 19, 2018.

An electric guitar player since grade school, singer-songwriter Terra Lightfootis inspired by female performers such as the late singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe who played a mean guitar as well as contemporary musicians like singer/slide guitarist Bonnie Raitt. Hailing from “steeltown” Hamilton, Ontario, she performs an exciting folk and roots rock style known for her bold vocals and electric guitar riffs. “She could be your new Rock & Roll hero” says PopMatters,  describing her as “a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a bad-ass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease. Drawing from rock, soul and blues, [Terra Lightfoot] is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time.”

Also headlining this year’s stage, Simone Schmidt leader of the band, Fiver, has been writing new life into and around folk, country, and rock songs for almost a decade. Critically outspoken and largely evading the branding of the music industry proper by working under several aliases, Schmidt might be recognized for her tenure as the front person and songwriter for country act, One Hundred Dollars, or psych rock unit The Highest Order, or from her solo work as Fiver, Schmidt has six LP’s to her writing credit, her latest, Audible Songs from Rockwood, currently getting significant buzz and accolades throughout the music world. Her collaborations with artists as wide ranging as hardcore punk phenomenon F**ked Up, to the inimitable USGirls, and Old Time and Bluegrass veteran Chris Coole. Schmidt has produced original works for film (World Famous Gopher Hole Museum, Land of Destiny) and appears as a guest vocalist on a number of records,  including Doug Paisley, Tasseomancy, and The Wooden Sky.

Few are more conscious in their journey through Appalachian histories and the Canadian musical landscape than singer-songwriter Kaia Kater, a headlining act at this year’s IDOW. Born in Montreal, Kaia has lived in Winnipeg, Wakefield, and West Virginia, now residing in Toronto. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, CBC Music and The Roots Music Report.  Often praised for her capacity to sound new and old at once, Kaia anchors her music the space where tradition and innovation intersect.

Enjoy the festival with two IDOW2018 Festival Pass options plus individual ticket purchase options to match your budget and schedule. This year the two festival pass options are, VIP – Friends of the Festival passes for $150 or Early Bird Festival Passes.  Festival passes (including early bird festival passes) are for the full weekend activities and include admission to the Bluegrass Brunch.  All tickets and passes are available for purchase NOW, online at

The entire schedule and all other info can be found over on the official In The Dead of Winter page here.

About the author


Jeff is one-fourth of the group that makes up HAFILAX. His usual ramblings can be read right here on the website. If reading isn't your thing, he also hosts the Basement Tapes podcast.