BY TREVOR NICHOLS
Starting July 14, more than two dozen blues and rock bands from across Canada will descend on Fox Mountain camping park for the first Smokin' Blues Fest.
The four-day show will feature big-time blues names- like former Bowie guitarist Tony “Wild T” Springer,and Carson Downey- as well as local favourites, like the Hupman Brothers and Alice Stops Time.
Festival goers will set up tents, trailers and RVs around the campground. Many plan to camp out all weekend to catch as much of the music as possible.
Event promotor Jay Chetwynd has been crisscrossing the Valley for months hyping the festival through word of mouth and plastering towns with posters.
He says there has been a lot of interest so far in the festival, with people from across the country and even the United States buying advanced tickets.
“We really felt that there was a need for this kind of festival in the Valley,” Chetwynd says, adding event organizers have tried to keep the festival as grassroots as possible.
“We just wanted to give people a cheap show, that was lots of fun, with lots of good music,” he says.
The event will be open to the whole family, with kids under 12 getting in for free. Even the family dog is welcome, says Chetwynd, if on a leash. He encourages people to bring their own chairs and it will be bring-your-own-drinks weekend.
There will also be a full canteen and some food vendors scattered around the grounds.
“It's basically a very responsible, but few-rules event,” Chetwynd says.
Along with skydivers and washer toss tournament, a number of local artisans and vendors fill out the activities, selling unique crafts, jewelry, instruments and artwork.
Chetwynd says as well as bringing a ton of great music to the Valley, he hopes the Smokin' Blues Festival will bring exposure for local artists and craftspeople setting up on the festival grounds, as well as restaurants, wineries and farmer who many benefit from the incoming music-lovers.
The festival begins July 14 and runs through July 17. Tickets are available at most Atlantic Superstores, as well as www.ticketatlantic.com, or by calling 902-847-3747.