Classic rock fans will be travelling to days gone past at the 2014 A&W Funtastic Music Festival, which hits the Vernon Army Camp this weekend.
Two internationally known heavy hitters, Scottish hard rock band Nazareth and Canada’s own Trooper, headline Friday and Sunday nights, respectively, while the “Monsters of Mock” take over the stage Saturday.
A number of local and national acts will open each night of the festival.
“This year’s lineup of bands will get everyone swaying to the music and singing along to familiar songs,” said Brett Kirkpatrick, Funtastic Sports Society president, during a reception when the bands were announced.
This is Nazareth’s second time playing Funtastic. The band, which is coming over for a tour of Western Canada, was last in Vernon in 2010 and has been hard at work releasing its new album, Rock and Roll Telephone.
Playing bass with the group since it originally formed, Pete Agnew is now the sole remaining member of the original lineup after vocalist Dan McCafferty retired from the band in 2013.
With its new lineup and album, the band is sure to perform a number of those top-40 hits (Love Hurts, Razamanaz, Hair of the Dog) from its heyday in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Opening for Nazareth Friday starting at 7 p.m. will be Kelowna rock/garage/pop band Lefty, Germany-by-the-way-of Calgary reunited band Boulevard and the Okanagan’s own The Young’uns.
Needing no introduction, Funtastic faves and Canada’s number one party band Trooper is back after last performing the festival in 2012.
Led by charismatic singer Ra McGuire and fellow songwriter/guitarist Brian Smith, the platinum selling, Juno award winning group has been making music since the mid-70s. Fans from far and wide will likely hum a few bars from such seminal hits as Raise a Little Hell, Pretty Lady and We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time).
With 10 studio albums and one greatest hits package under the band’s belt, Trooper continues on its heavy touring schedule and is hitting every province and city west of Quebec this summer.
Taking the stage before Trooper Sunday at 7 p.m. are Vernon R&B band The Legendary Lake Monsters, Vernon rockers The Goods and Alberta rock band The Chevelles.
Next best to the real thing, Saturday’s “Monsters of Mock” includes tributes to Bon Jovi (Blaze of Glory), Aerosmith (Aerosmith Rocks) and AC/DC (Who Made Who). Vernon favourites MACE will open at 6:30 p.m.
Weekend passes for the Funtastic Music Festival are $50, while day passes are $25, available at Save on Foods in Vernon, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. No minors will be permitted on the festival grounds.
UPDATE: Due to personal reasons, Vernon band Redfish has had to cancel its performance at Funtastic and will be replaced by fellow local rock band MACE as Saturday’s opening act, starting at 6:30 p.m.