Roots and Blues volunteer Mark McMillen stains one of 36 new picnic tables. (Barb Brouwer photo)

Music festival welcomes world to Salmon Arm

Super crawl Roots and Blues concerts underway Thursday, main event begins Friday

By Barb Brouwer

Contributor

The stage is almost set for the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival.

Hammers are swinging, new picnic tables are being stained and the large green grass of the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds is being coloured by bright tents.

Inside the Roots and Blues office, staff and volunteers are putting the final touches on a festival that aims to provide the best possible experience for everyone involved.

Artistic director Peter North and artist liaison Tori Jewell are relaxed and ready for the festival that began Tuesday with super crawl concerts at several area venues.

“Things are going smoothly for an equation of this size,” says North, noting that for many of the performers, Roots and Blues is the last of a long and often tiring tour, tours in which many of this year’s artists have wowed audiences. “The Hamiltones drew rave reviews in Edmonton, Vancouver and Vancouver Island and Irish Mythen got a standing ovation in the middle of her set.”

Whether at the end of a tour or not, Jewell makes sure artists get a warm welcome and are well looked after.

“I’ve got really good volunteers on the frontline,” she says. “Without them, my job would not be possible.”

While there are no major changes to the site this year, executive-director David Gonella says there have been a couple of additions with comfort in mind.

“The shade stage will have a ginormous tent and, with coverage at the blues and barn stage, people should be able to be dry,” Gonella says. “We always rely on our volunteers; the festival starts and ends with their commitment to having the great event we expect it to be.”

Food vendors and the artisan market will feature a mix of new and longtime favourites. The Hub International Family Fun Zone will offer interactive entertainment for all ages and is located next to the wine bar.

A composting, recycling and garbage program initiated last year diverted an enormous amount of material from the landfill. Again this year, no single-use plastic water bottles will be sold but several water stations will be available for patrons to fill their own bottles.

Media and communications co-ordinator Mico Miege-Moffat says a new grant has allowed organizers to roll out a marketing plan that has extended the festival’s reach.

“We have had phone calls from places we don’t usually have and we’re getting a lot of first-time people calling, asking where do we camp, how close are we to the lake?” says Miege-Moffat. “It’s exciting having these conversations, and local tourism (organizations) have had lots of questions too.”

Read more: Jim Cuddy to return to Roots and Blues stage

Read more: Working it out at Roots and Blues Festival

Read more: Salmon Arm Roots and Blues green initiative diverts truckloads of waste from landfill

The super crawl ramps up Thursday with Al Lerman & Brent Parkin followed by the Ghost Notes beginning at 6 p.m. at the legion; Sean Ashby and Early spirit beginning at 5:30 at Shuswap Theatre, Jenie Thai at 6:45 at the Barley Station Brew Pub; Josh + Bex at 5:30 at the Shuswap Pie Company and Jamie Carlon Smith and DJ Kingkongfinger at 7 p.m. at Marionette Winery.

For more information, call 250-833-4096 or go online to rootsandblues.ca.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Media and communications co-ordinator Mico Miege-Moffat says a new marketing plan has allowed Roots and Blues organizers attract new interest in the festival. (Barb Brouwer photo)

Artistic director Peter North and artist liaison Tori Jewell discuss preparations for the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival. (Barb Brouwer photo)

Just Posted

Re-elected North Okanagan-Shuswap MP plans to be more effective in second term

Mel Arnold says he learned a lot in first term, established contacts in riding and in Ottawa

Student enrolment for 2019/20 exceeds School District #83 projections

Increase attributed to more people moving into the North Okanagan-Shuswap

Vernon boy Mel Arnold’s ‘biggest little supporter’

While other kids were reading Dr. Seuss, Alex Mulder was studying Canada’s prime ministers

Man allegedly uses gun to rob Salmon Arm bank

Police investigating video footage, asking for information, tips from public

Boil water notice lifted for some residents on the west side of Okanagan Lake

Two-hundred and seventy property owners in the Westshoe Estates Subdivision can now safely drink their water again

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

South Okanagan man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Most Read