Rock of the Woods now rocking in Sahtlam

Bubba Sparxxx -
Bubba Sparxxx
— image credit:

Nailing down the 'it' location for Cowichan's Rock of the Woods festival.

It's something promoter Dave Bain has been working on since the Vancouver Island rock festival made its debut at Bamberton in 2011.

This year's festival, featuring Bubba Sparxxx, Robert Delong, The Pack A.D., Wake Owl, Vince Vaccaro and Fly Moon Royalty — to name a few of the band's recently released at a lineup launch party over the weekend — will take place in the Sahtlam area this year from July 25-27.

"This site offers the most amount of amenities to one: make people comfortable; and two: mitigate issues we've had at other sites," Bain said.

Moving from last year's location at Godfrey-Brownell Vineyards came down to technicality issues with its agricultural land reserve designation and permits, Bain noted.

But he's also pumped about less work from his crew this year to make the new 60-70 acre site off Sunrise Road ROTW worthy.

"It pretty much has everything built in,"  he said. "We're not having to add structures like sun shades like we've had to in previous years."

Having this year's festival in another remote area, located beyond where Gibbins Road turns into Barnjum Road (leading to Sunrise Road, which then itself turns into Irvine Drive) is a huge plus for promoters.

Bain recently let loose a community crew to knock on doors of folks living close by and to hang up posters.

"In April, I went door to door with another volunteer and spoke with residents and the response was overwhelmingly positive," community relations manager Kelly Black said. "We gave residents a letter introducing the festival, and we went to just about 20 houses."

The homes near the site are located on big chunks of property, spanning quite a large area, Kelly noted. And festival organizers offered free tickets to those people they visited.

They've only had a few people concerned about noise, Bain said, which isn't unusual.

"We've had neighbours concerned in previous years and they're only concerned until the festival happens and they get a chance to see what it's like," Bain said. "We're always wanting to work those people."

For more information about the festival, click here.

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