The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society is hosting the annual Chemainus Bluegrass Extravaganza this Saturday, July 16.
After two years of much-reduced bluegrass during the COVID restrictions, the society is pleased to return to a great lineup of bands for this year’s event.
The day will kick off with a couple of open mike performances while everyone settles in for a wonderful afternoon at Waterwheel Park. Bluegrass performer Sandi will take the stage at 1 p.m. for a half hour of lively music followed at 1:30 p.m. by Melissa Endean, renowned for her country-influenced tones.
The bluegrass gets underway at 2 p.m. with The Replacements, a new band to Vancouver Island. Each member possesses an extensive musical background. The four-piece band will provide some traditional bluegrass, along with some tunes with a country influence.
Bluegrass Fever, acting as the host band for this festival, follows the Replacements. The band first played in the event in 2011 and every year of the festival since. Bluegrass Fever is a favourite on Vancouver Island and ever-popular in Chemainus.
The festival welcomes some of B.C.’s top bluegrass artists in Backspin from the Lower Mainland at 4 p.m. The group includes: Jay Buckwold, Hugh Ellenwood, Colin Goldie, Randy Goulding and Kate Main.
Next on the bill is Scout Mountain from Powell River. The band is a favourite wherever it performs.
The final performance starting at 6 p.m. will be Vancouver Island’s long-time favourite bluegrass band, the Clover Point Drifters. These boys have not been at the Chemainus festival for a few years, and it was considered high time to bring them back.
Admission to the festival is by donation. Similar festivals charge as much as $100 per day, but any contribution in Chemainus is graciously accepted.
Bring your own lawn chairs for comfort to Waterwheel Park for a great day of music.