Get off the Bus Concerts came about through the vision of Joe and Fatima Bamford, former owners of HALJOE COACH. After a long and varied career in the music and entertainment industry Joe thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do some concerts in Parry Sound with some people who have traveled on our buses over the years?” Inspired by their daughter, Jenn, who fundraises relentlessly for several organizations in her hometown of Moncton, New Brunswick, Joe and Fatima realized the importance of giving back to their community so decided to turn their concert idea into fundraisers for charities. They held their first Get off the Bus Concert in the summer of 2011 in Parry Sound with Newfoundland comedian, Jimmy Flynn, in support of the West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation and have never looked back.
Since that first concert, Joe and Fatima have held many Get off the Bus Concerts in Ontario, Florida and New Brunswick including such artists as Jann Arden, Blue Rodeo, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to name a few. To date, Get off the Bus Concerts has raised over $300,000 for charity. They are currently planning even more Get off the Bus Concerts in support of worthy causes throughout Canada and the US.
Joe started in the music business as a concert promoter while attending high school in Fredericton, New Brunswick. After becoming the first licensed booking agent in Eastern Canada, Joe moved to Toronto, Ontario and, after a short time as an agent, formed a management partnership that managed such popular bands as The Kings, Glass Tiger, Leslie Spit Treeo and The Headstones.
While managing Glass Tiger in the mid-eighties, he recognized a need in the music industry and purchased his first tour bus. It was a small bus that he called Paradise but it got them to where they needed to go. Over the past 22 years, that business grew to thirty plus buses on both sides of the US/Canada border and has carried entertainers such as: Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Rain, Broken Social Scene, Barra MacNeils, Trailer Park Boys, Johnny Reid, Guess Who, Sloan, Leahy , Snoop Dogg and many more!
Check out this interview from February 2019 with owner of Get Off The Bus Concerts, Joe Bamford, business partner, Brian Young, and host of Lake Sumter TV’s Radio Waves, Kris Poliquin.