This week in RCS Music News Weekly: Bands can now book Royal City Studios’ music hall for free for post-lockdown shows, FACTOR adjusts its Live Performance program to include virtual performance funding, and Guelph concert announcement coming soon. But first…

The Trews I Wanna Play

The Trews’ “I Wanna Play” Strikes a Resonant Chord of Frustration for Canadians

The Trews’ pandemic rock anthem “I Wanna Play” has struck a resonant chord with frustrated bands and music fans across Canada. As U.S. concert promoters begin cueing up live summer concerts as early as July 18th, “I Wanna Play” is a frustrated cry for the return of live concerts in the Great White North.

Written in about 10 minutes by the band (currently based in Hamilton, Ont.), the song encapsulates “all of the longing, the desperation, and frustration of the last year and a half in my life and the life of the band,” said singer-songwriter Colin MacDonald in a recent phone interview with The Toronto Star. “I guess that’s why people are connecting to it.”

Ontario bands, music businesses, and music fans will unfortunately have ample opportunity in the days ahead to connect with the Trews’ song of longing thanks to Premier Doug Ford’s new three-phase Roadmap to Reopen plan.

Estimated to begin June 14th (depending on whether 60% of Ontarians are vaccinated), Phase 1 will focus on resuming outdoor activities for small crowds like swimming and camping. Limited live outdoor music events won’t be allowed until Phase 2 (occurring 21 days after Phase One), and limited indoor gatherings won’t be allowed until Phase 3.

This means, Royal City Studios (like other Canadian performance venues) still cannot announce specific dates for upcoming live shows and events being planned for the RCS concert hall. But the following can be said:

RCS Concert Announcement Coming Soon!

If the Stay 2-4 weekend has you feeling like you may be living in Footloose, RCS is pleased to announce that once Footloose Restrictions… er, stay-at-home orders and restrictions lift and concerts are allowed, RCS will be making an exciting concert announcement featuring local Ontario musicians Paige Rutledge, Courtney Bowles, and Sammy Duke.

RCS concert announcement

(Yes, real live music at Royal City Studios!)

To stay in the loop, follow Royal City Studios on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or subscribe to the RCS newsletter.

Bands Can Now Use the RCS Concert Hall for Free

To help bands plan and perform post-lockdown live shows without the restriction of budget (because we’ve all had enough restrictions), Royal City Studios is making its music hall available for free for bands who want to play and fans who want to celebrate (to coin The Trews).

RCS Music Weekly

Bands earn and take home all revenue from ticket sales. Royal City Studios does not take a percentage to cover the hall. Instead, RCS (as a licensed venue) earns revenue from bar sales.

That’s it.

Why is RCS making this offer?


Bands have been hammered on all fronts (including financial) by the pandemic. Bands need a break, and music fans (like RCS) can’t wait for the return of live music. To help enable that as quickly as possible when restrictions lift, RCS wants to ensure any band (regardless of situation) can put on a show once they’re ready and start earning revenue.

Book your spot today. No charge for cancellation or rescheduling due to shifting restrictions.

Book online, email, call (226) 314-2177, or DM Royal City Studios on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Two Bits of Good News Before the Weekend

  • Virtual Performance Funding Now Available from FACTOR

This week, FACTOR announced temporary adjustments in its Live Performance program to fund virtual musical performances and will continue to do so until live shows are possible. FACTOR also increased overall program budgets for Artist Development, Juried Sound Recording, and Video programs to assist as many musicians as possible.

  • Royal City Studios’ Rehearsal Studios Remain Open

Just because live shows can’t happen right now doesn’t mean you can’t rehearse for them and hit the ground running. Under provisions for Media Industries (sound recording and production), Royal City Studios’ rehearsal studios remain open.

  • Small studio – 1 person allowed
  • Large studio – Up to 3 people allowed
  • Music hall – Up to 10 people allowed

Royal City Studios

Your health is top priority at Royal City Studios, which is following all precautions as outlined by Health Canada to ensure your experience at RCS is safe.

Book a studio online (, call (226) 314-2177, email or DM RCS on social.

Have a great weekend!