or those who love the holiday season but are a little weary of the typical Christmas fare, The Jon and Roy Holiday Special has become a beloved refuge from the jingle bells and winter wonderlands.
This is the ninth year for what has become itself a holiday tradition in the local music scene.
Typically a quiet time of year for local music of the non-Christmas variety, local band Jon and Roy started the event as a way to invite some of their favourite acts from around the region to join them for a night of music at Alix Goolden Hall.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jon Middleton makes sure to emphasize the fact that despite this being a “holiday” concert, it does not feature Christmas music, unless any of the guest acts take it upon themselves to knock out some songs of the more typical seasonal variety.
“We call it the holiday special because it’s to do with the holiday time of year, to get into the spirit of the time of year, but not focusing on Christmas,” Middleton said.
“I love Christmas music, but there’s so much of it everywhere you go that time of year, so it’s not really necessary.”
Featured this year will be a young musician from Victoria by the name of Fintan O’Brien, of the O’Brien Family band, the Vancouver-based Daniel Wesley, a staple of the BC music scene, and the local all-women harmonizing trio Fox Glove.
Each act typically does around a 15 to 20 minutes set, and then Jon and Roy finish off the evening with an hour-or-so long set at the end, with friends brought on stage to join in.
“It’s just a really nice event,” said Middleton. “It’s a celebration of live music and it has a real community atmosphere.”
Past events have featured acts that have gone on to become quite well known, including Bahamas, Frazey Ford (of The Be Good Tanyas), Damien Jurado, Buck 65, Mother Mother and Current Swell.
Middleton said he can’t quite believe this will be the ninth year for the show, but promises the tradition will continue until at least the 10th show in 2017, to make sure they reach an even number.
“Everyone has a good time and people look forward to it, so it feels like a good, positive event that we’re a part of putting on. And that’s a good feeling.”
The Jon and Roy Holiday Special has sold out every year so far, so for those looking for tickets for the Saturday, Dec. 10 show, make sure to head to ticketfly.com before they’re all gone.