At the end of any year or the beginning of the next, media bombards readers and viewers with stories and lists of what happened or what might be ahead.  But 2023 was quite different, at least for me, because over the past twelve months a concept emerged that one could not have previously identified, let alone understood:  intelligent machines, what is called Artificial Intelligence or, as it is commonly known, A.I..

Like it or not, I’m feeling A.I. is around me right now in texts and ideas that relate to projects and activities that interest or involve me.  And so, in this month of January when I would traditionally focus on what’s ahead, and how I might cope with future plans, I decided to delve into A.I. to see what I might discern to the benefit of the Huron Waves Music Festival.

Specifically I posed this question to an A.I. source:  “What positive contributions can a Spring music festival like Huron Waves offer its communities in south-west Ontario?”  Within five seconds, here’s what A.I. had to say: “A Spring music festival like Huron Waves in South-West Ontario can offer several positive contributions to its communities. Here are some potential benefits:

  1. Cultural Enrichment:
    • Exposure to a diverse range of musical genres and artists can contribute to the cultural enrichment of the community.
    • It provides an opportunity for residents to experience different styles of music, fostering an appreciation for various cultural expressions.
  2. Community Engagement:
    • Festivals bring people together, promoting a sense of community and unity. Attendees can connect with each other through shared musical interests, enhancing social cohesion.
    • Local businesses and vendors may also get involved, fostering economic interactions within the community.
  3. Economic Impact:
    • Festivals can stimulate the local economy by attracting visitors from outside the community. These visitors spend money on accommodations, food, transportation, and other local services, generating revenue for businesses.
  4. Tourism Boost:
    • A successful music festival can draw attention to the region, attracting tourists and potentially leading to repeat visits in the future.
    • The festival can serve as a promotional tool for the area, showcasing its cultural vibrancy and creating a positive image.
  5. Arts and Education:
    • Music festivals often include workshops, masterclasses, and educational components. These activities can contribute to the development of local talent and provide educational opportunities for community members.
  6. Promotion of Local Artists:
    • Local musicians and artists may have the chance to perform and showcase their talents on a larger platform, gaining exposure and support from the community.
  7. Wellness and Recreation:
    • Music has the power to bring joy and reduce stress. A music festival provides an outlet for relaxation and enjoyment, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.
  8. Environmental Consciousness:
    • Festivals can incorporate eco-friendly practices, promoting environmental awareness within the community. This may include waste reduction efforts, sustainable practices, and education on environmental issues.
  9. Enhanced Quality of Life:
    • Access to cultural events like music festivals enhances the overall quality of life for residents. It provides entertainment options and contributes to a vibrant and dynamic community.
  10. Community Pride:
    • Hosting a successful music festival can instill a sense of pride in the community, as residents witness the positive impact and recognition of their region on a larger scale.

Then, in its conclusion, A.I. offered me this advice: “It’s important for organizers to collaborate with local authorities, businesses, and residents to ensure that the festival aligns with the community’s values and needs, addressing any potential concerns such as noise, traffic, and environmental impact.”

How I wish I knew our readers’ comments about what A.I. has offered, and operated, here!  A challenge for my Huron Waves colleagues and me is to put into action as many of these concepts as we can include in our planning and programming for the next festival, June 1 to 21, 2024.  Stand by!

Happy New Year!

Till we’re together again…remember that Music Connects Us.


John A. Miller, Artistic Director