Mark your calendars for July 16th. That’s the day Chemainus, just south of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, will be holding it’s annual Bluegrass Extravaganza & Festival. With a performance schedule that includes an Open Mic and 6 great Bluegrass acts, this fest is ready to set your feet tapping, your hands clapping and your heart singing along. This will be one of the many wonderful musical events Vancouver Island plays host to, this one at Waterwheel Park in Chemainus.
Chemainus, the “Little Town That Did”
Chemainus, known as the “Little Town that could,” will be absolutely magical as the sounds of bluegrass music fill the park and the nearby stores and cafes. Starting at 10:00 am and running until 8:30 pm there will be bluegrass entertainment non-stop.
The cost to attend this day-long event is by donation only, suggested at $10, a sweet deal to be sure.
There is bench seating in the park for approximately two hundred people but many more are expected. Audience members are advised to bring along cushions for the benches and ground, and event, lawn chairs.
The park is located downtown and there are plenty of restaurants in the surrounding areas, so you can slip in and out of the park, take time out to eat, or bring the food into the park with you. It’s a beautiful place for a picnic.
Chemainus Bluegrass Festival Acts
There is a great line-up of acts this year and I understand more musicians are expected to book, but here are the artists who have been confirmed thus far:
John Reischman and the Jaybirds, have a reputation for being one of the best Bluegrass bands in the world, and for John Reischman’s mandolin work – they are an extraordinary group that create magic wherever they play.
Skagway, described as a modern and yet traditional band, they incorporate hard driving rhythm and soulful harmony. They are a mainstay of the Vancouver Island bluegrass and folk music scene.
Corner Grass, with rhythm, fiddle, and vocals, they create sweet harmonies in diverse styles: from Bluegrass and Gospel to Texas Swing and Early Country, they never fail to delight.
Bluegrass Fever, playing traditional, modern and original bluegrass music, this local group has expert instrumentation as well as great harmonies –fast finger-picking and strong melodies are trademarks.
Bryon Clayton Thomas, is a traditional and local favourite bluegrass group from the Cowichan Valley, that consists instrumentally of Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin and Electric Bass.
Island Blue Rose, an all female bluegrass band, also locally grown, play a mean Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin and Bass to create some fine traditional bluegrass.
For more information about the Chemainus Bluegrass Festival, tickets, or to volunteer.
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