The Slocan Ramblers are among the headliners at the inaugural Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival, which has moved to the Laketown Ranch after 16 successful years as the Sooke Bluegrass Festival. Photo by Jen Squires

Expanded bluegrass festival pitches its tent at Laketown Ranch

Former Sooke Bluegrass Festival outgrew previous venue after 16 successful years, organizer says

In the world of bluegrass they are household names – Claire Lynch, The Slocan Ramblers, the Lonely Heartstring Band.

But to those not familiar with niche subculture of bluegrass and Appalachian old-time music?

“I call the best music you’ve never heard,” says Bob Remington, co-artistic director of the Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival, happening June 14-16 at Laketown Ranch Music Park near Lake Cowichan.

The festival, which moves to Laketown after 16 successful years in Sooke, features some of the best acoustic musicians in North America including Lynch, a three-time Grammy nominee who, according to Dolly Parton, has “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.”

Programming a festival made up entirely of music that doesn’t get played on the radio might seem like a challenge, but so dedicated are its fans that the festival decided to move to Laketown after selling out campsites at Sooke months in advance.

Laketown offers acres of camping, which Remington says is integral to the bluegrass experience.

“Bluegrass and old-time festivals are unique. Fans camp out all weekend and take part in organized and impromptu jam sessions. With three chords and a guitar, you can make a lot of friends.”

ALSO READ: Snoop Dogg, Incubus, Sublime with Rome, Smash Mouth head to Vancouver Island festival

The festival features an Appalachian old-time square dance under a big top circus tent Saturday night as well top local and regional bands like The Sweet Lowdown and Nomad Jones, and free workshops with headliners.

For tickets and information visit cowichanbluegrass.com.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

VIDEO: Trudeau, Atwood say ‘happy birthday’ for Robert Bateman’s 90th

Famed Canadian artist and conservationist celebrated milestone this weekend

Vancouver Island man scores viral hit with stop-motion tribute to ‘Schitt’s Creek’

Todd Cameron used vintage Fisher Price toys to create one-minute music video

Music education remains important, especially during pandemic

‘Music really does lift people up in times of trial,’ says Island music teacher

Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre set to reopen on June 18

Local artists will have work on display; COVID-19 protocols observed

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Nanaimo drag queen organizes benefit show for hospitals and performers

Suga Honey Iced Tea to feature nine drag artists from Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver

Chris Lowther becomes Tofino’s second Poet Laureate

“It’s very encouraging and it’s motivating and that’s the greatest gift any writer can receive.”

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Cowichan Calligraphers mark 25 years of loving letters

For the past 25 years our group has worked regularly with the public.

Most Read