Later this month, the City of Kingston is holding its signature large-scale, free outdoor music concert in downtown Kingston. Rockin’ the Square will see Kardinal Offishall and special guest Maestro Fresh Wes entertaining the crowd on Friday, Jul. 28, 2023.
According to a release from the City of Kingston, a local opening act will be announced closer to the show date.
In the release, the City said that Kardinal Offishall is known as a staple in the international music scene, earning global respect as one of Canada’s most energetic and innovative emcees. He is the first Canadian rapper in history to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts with his monster classic hit, “Dangerous” and has collaborated with high-profile artists including Akon, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Kardinal has added TV star to his repertoire, serving as a judge on Canada’s Got Talent and he has continued to be a cultural and musical ambassador for a new wave of Canadian superstars that included Drake, K’naan, Daniel Caesar, Boi-1da, and Glenn Lewis.
“Let Your Back Bone Slide” with Wes Williams aka Maestro Fresh Wes as he makes a special appearance at this year’s Rockin’ the Square, the City said. Maestro Fresh Wes is the first Hip hop artist to receive a JUNO Award for Best Rap Recording of the Year, the first Black Canadian artist to have a single or album reach gold and platinum status, the first to have a single on Billboard, as well as the first to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. His debut album Symphony In Effect, helped shape the Canadian music industry and reinforced him as The Godfather of Canadian Hip hop, according to the release.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kardinal and Maestro, two Canadian Hip Hop icons, to this summer’s Rockin’ the Square party on July 28 at 8 p.m.,” said Jayson Duggan, Performing Arts Manager for the City of Kingston. “With 2023 being the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, this free music celebration couldn’t come at a better time.”
According to the release, the City is providing free public transit in support of this year’s Rockin’ the Square. Buses will be free from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 28, 2023. Use the Transit Trip Planner to plan the evening. An accessible seating area will be located near the water fountain on King Street, the City noted. Rockin’ The Square is a rain or shine event.
This year, Rockin’ the Square falls in the middle of a series of community-organized and City supported public programs and events that will run July 27 to 29 to mark Emancipation Day on August 1. More information on this programming will be made available in the coming weeks through the City of Kingston website