Passenger was one of the performers who returned to the festival following his set to enjoy the sights and sounds that Vancouver Island MusicFest had to offer. Photo by Erica Farrell

MusicFest weekend in the Comox Valley ‘fantastic’

Walk Off the Earth, other acts liven up annual music festival in Comox Valley

With clear skies and warm temperatures bathing the crowd at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, the organizer of Vancouver Island MusicFest says the annual festival this last weekend was “fantastic.”

Artistic director and producer of VIMF Doug Cox notes there were no major security issues or events over the course of the festival, which ran July 13-15. The event featured Ontario rockers Walk Off The Earth, U.K. singer/songwriter Passenger, and folk legend Arlo Guthrie.

But for Cox, the highlight of the weekend was meeting American musician Ry Cooder. 

“It was really one of the most fun moments of my life. He is personally one of my favourites and I’ve been trying to get him to come for 22 years.”

Cox and Cooder snapped a rare backstage photo together and Cox says Cooder had a great time at the festival.

The musician wasn’t the only one enjoying the weekend; Passenger, otherwise known as Mike Rosenberg, was seen around the festival site following his Saturday night set on the main stage.

Cox explains he was having a good time, and spent all of Sunday exploring the music and sounds of VIMF.

“That’s a good sign,” he says, and adds previous performers such as David Crosby and Emmylou Harris have spent additional time at the site outside of their respective performances.

“(The festival) is far enough away (geographically) and I think they love that it’s not a huge music industry event. Sometimes they’re unsure of where they’re going to, and they might expect things to be a little bit rickety. But our production standards, especially on the main stage, are incredible. I hear that more and more.

“(It’s a festival) performers now have on their bucket list.”

Cox notes one change that was a success this year was the reconfiguration at the Grassy Knoll site – a now-licenced area that still allows kids to enter, and included a large tent for shade.

He says while sound will be improved for next year along with tent placement, “for the first try, it was great.”

The dates for MusicFest 2019 have already been set – July 12 to 14. For more information, visit Islandmusicfest.com.

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

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bucket list: Mid-Island set to come alive with special drumming

Pair of programs scheduled to take place starting October

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre streaming new short film tonight

Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.

Voting now ready for Oak Bay’s Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Most Read