Barrie’s New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown Entertainment Lineup Announced!

The city of Barrie is celebrating its 25th annual Downtown Countdown with a bang!

This year’s event will not disappoint! The free evening of fun and entertainment for the whole family began in 1998 and has become a New Year’s Eve tradition in Barrie. The festivities include skating, family activities and fireworks. 

The highlight of the night is a line-up of amazing live entertainment featuring a special performance for kids, up-and-coming local talent and a Canadian headline act.

Past performers have included Sam Roberts Band, The Trews, Sloan, Blue Rodeo, Big Wreck, Finger Eleven, Arkells and many more.

This year, you are welcome to ring in the new year with Sonshine and Broccoli for the kids and Big Wreck will headline this year’s festivities!

Join Kool FM’s Dale & Charlie for the family fun beginning at 6 pm!


Barrie will ring in 2024 with Big Wreck as headliner

Sonshine and Broccoli join as children’s performer

(Barrie, ON) – Downtown Barrie is once again the place to be to ring in the New Year. This year’s free, family-friendly Downtown Countdown celebration on December 31 will feature rock band Big Wreck as the headliner and Sonshine and Broccoli as the children’s performer.

“I look forward to ringing in 2024 at the downtown Barrie NYE countdown celebration. This event always delivers an incredible lineup of music, entertainment and activities that bring residents and visitors out to celebrate together,” said Mayor Alex Nuttall. 

Since 1998, the Downtown Countdown has brought thousands from near and far together to celebrate the arrival of the new year at Barrie City Hall. The festivities start at 6 p.m. In addition to the musical performances, the Downtown Countdown celebration will include skating, family activities, roaming buskers, and two fireworks shows – the first following the children’s show for the early revellers and the second at midnight.

Every year, the City of Barrie invites local bands to submit for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. From over 50 submissions, The Faculty was selected to perform at this year’s event. The band performs a mix of classic rock, new rock, blues, funk, and pop.

Barrie Transit service will be free on New Year’s Eve starting at 5 p.m., and all routes will operate until 3 a.m. Extended schedules can be found on MyRide.

For more information and announcements to come, visit

About Big Wreck:

Big Wreck are a Canadian-American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1992.

In the early weeks of 2020, the members of Big Wreck were returning home after a heavy few months of touring. An emerging global pandemic unwelcomely extended a few months of creative respite into nearly a year-and-a-half of inactivity and uncertainty. Ian Thornley and his bandmates decided to take full advantage of the downtime.

Following that lengthy span of experimentation and gestation, the band hit the studio with revered producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells) returning behind the board. The result is a wealth of riches for the Big Wreck faithful and new fans alike; 15 tracks divided into three EPs that capture the essence of every entry in their celebrated back catalogue while pushing into some unexplored sonic territory.

Joining Thornley and longtime bassist Dave McMillan for the sessions is guitarist Chris Caddell, who entered the fold in 2019 following the passing of founding guitarist Brian Doherty. Another fixture in the line-up is drummer Sekou Lumumba, who performed with Thornley’s eponymous solo project. Reviews of recent shows have called this the best iteration of Big Wreck they’ve heard.

The moratorium on live concerts through the pandemic may be the biggest curveball of the band’s career, considering Big Wreck’s penchant and reputation for impactful performances. They’re hungry to get back to bombarding audiences with their signature brand of rock, and fortunately, their latest work was seemingly built for the big festival stages and headlining runs.

From both the stereo and stage, Big Wreck are sure to leave fans satiated and, considering the breadth of fresh and familiar sounds in their latest tour de force, anticipating where they might musically venture nextLearn more at

About Sonshine and Broccoli:

For 20 years, families across Canada have been singing and dancing along with Sonshine and Broccoli.

Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford met in the Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College and formed Sonshine and Broccoli soon after. They’ve become leaders on Canada’s music scene for children, releasing several albums and performing at festivals and community events across the country. 

Sonshine and Broccoli have appeared many times on both local and national television and radio. They performed at The Junior Juno’s and opened up for Silento at the NBA All-Star Game. They’ve also opened for the legendary 4-time Juno Award winner Fred Penner. It’s Cool to Be Kind was a Juno nominee for Children’s Album of the Year in 2019. Sonshine and Broccoli won Best Children’s Song of the Year for “Spread Your Wings and Fly” in The USA Songwriting Competition in 2021 and were named Funky Kids Radio Artist of the Year in 2022. 

With their sixth album, Born to be Brave, Sonshine and Broccoli share new songs and collaborations with artists like Juno Award winners Kairo McLean and Kirk Diamond and others that build confidence, celebrate differences, and encourage kids to allow their own unique star to shine bright.