CosmoFEST: A Brief Overview and Review

Posted on: June 9, 2019

Over the first weekend of June, I decided to go to the CosmoFEST in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. The Cosmo MusicFEST and EXPO is a one-day event that hosts a live show, an exposition, and a clearance sale in the music store. 6 musicians hosted guitar and drumming sessions throughout the day. In addition, Geddy Lee was present for book signing. Since there was much to do, I will try separate the overview and my experiences during the MusicFEST into different key points.


The EXPO was where companies display their latest music products. Most of the companies were related to making guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, sound systems and effects, as most of the MusicFEST goers are mainly into those stuff. Unless you are into those stuff, there isn’t much to see on classical musical instruments. As any student on a co-op program, I did ask the representatives about internships in theses companies. It seems that with a few exceptions, like Godin and Yorkville, most of the companies require me to work in USA or Overseas. Also, I did take advantage of the EXPO to buy some palm tree guitar picks for $30 (unfortunately, one was defective).

In addition, there were prizes for everyone who ordered a wristband early on, but you must tap your wrist band to certain counters to enter in the draw.

Clearance Sale:

Everything is STILL expensive, even though most stuff is on discount. I guess music stuff is very expensive.

Main Stage Concert:

Outside of the EXPO, there is an outdoor concert. I did not see much of it, but I was there to hear and see Chiliwack and Finger Eleven, which were both widely acclaimed Canadian rock bands. The other bands that were there include Sloan, Terra Lightfoot, and the Cosmo Soul Express Band. The latter were comprised of the Cosmo music staff. The concert was like any other typical rock concerts, and it was very interesting to get to know some new (old) bands that I haven’t heard of.

Geddy Lee’s Booksigning:

During the MusicFEST, Geddy Lee was present to do a meet and greet and a book signing of his latest book, “Big Beautiful Book of Bass.” Geddy Lee was the bass player for the progressive rock band Rush. Rush was a band formed in Toronto in 1968, but the current line-up of Lifeson, Lee, and Peart was established in 1974. However, earlier in 2018, the band officially disbanded after a successful career with winning numerous awards and being inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I did not buy the ticket to do the book signing and meet and greet, which I regretted after seeing the books. However, at least I got to see Geddy Lee in real life. He was around my height.

In addition, I did find out that Dave Grohl was accompanying Geddy Lee during the MusicFEST, which was interesting to know.

Nicko McBrain’s Drumming Session:

However, I did decide to go check out Nicko McBrain’s drumming session, since it was cheaper than the book signing. This was one of the 3 drumming sessions that were held during that day. The other drummers were Simon Philips and Omar Hakim, which I did not attend. Nicko McBrain is the current drummer of an English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, which was founded in 1975 in England. During the drumming session, at least half the time was taken up talking about his past and his band experiences, more than a quarter of the time about his drumkit and the specifications, and an eighth of his time playing the actual drums. The rest of time was spent apologizing to the Lord for every time he said the F-word, but not the S-word however. Overall, it was a very entertaining drum session and I really enjoyed his presence there.


Even though I arrived later in the afternoon and did not get to experience CosmoFEST the entire day. It was great to see some live bands, new music products, meeting famous (rock and metal) musicians and getting discounts during the clearance sale. I would recommend anyone who has the time and is a fan of rock music to go next year.


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