Those interested in hearing all the Peninsula music scene has to offer need only mark off the August long weekend on their calendars.
That’s because the Spirit of the Sea Festival’s entertainment program is focusing on local musicians this year, with dozens of artists scheduled to perform on three stages along White Rock Beach July 30 to Aug. 1.
“What we’re really trying to do is bring it back to a community (event),” entertainment director Jim Black said. “There’s just so much talent here in town.
“There was more than enough people to fill every stage just with bands from White Rock.”
Festival-goers will be able to hear live music from around 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at West Beach’s Main Stage and the East Stage in the 15600-block of Marine Drive.
The Spirit Stage in Semiahmoo Park – which will also host performances Monday – is to feature children’s entertainment until 4 p.m., and follow with musicians that appeal to all ages.
Black said this year’s sets will have better lighting and sound – thanks to local volunteers – and will span a wide range of genres, from jazz and blues to indie and folk.
“What we’re trying to do is showcase local entertainment and we’re just trying to make a low-key family-orientated festival.”
Black, a White Rock musician himself, said the sea fest is an ideal opportunity to highlight some of the younger talents looking for exposure rather than present established artists from out of town.
“Why would I bring in some people from Vancouver who already play all the big festivals and ignore the young musicians who need a chance on a big stage?”
The community already has the musicians, Black said, now they just need continued public support to ensure they always have a local stage.
“We’re just hoping people come out to support it because we’re just trying to rally everyone to get the art in the community back in focus.”
• Spirit Stage, Semiahmoo Park:
Saturday: Wild Life; Anthropology of Love; Good Bye Bones; Dogwood and Dahlia; and, Christopher Coldwater Charlton.
Sunday: Hailey Morgan; Elgin Park Jazz Combo; The Dave Ison Project; and Tristan Paxton Trio.
Monday: Ben Dunhill; No Left Turn; Joel Given; Ben Brown Duo; Fang; and, Suzy.
• Children’s performers (Spirit Stage until 4 p.m. every day):
Max Tell; Starchild; Korky the Clown; Heidi McCurdy’s Voice Studio Showcase; as well as local youth bands and many other activities/performances for kids.
• East Stage, 15600-block of Marine Drive:
Saturday: Alexandra Hanna; Shelby Noble; Chantel Stasiuk; Laine Henderson; Danica Danielson; Wheat in the Barley; De La Terra; Heidi McCurdy’s Urban Tribe; and, Mojo Zydeco.
Sunday: Fanatics in the Attic; Debra Jean and the Means; Sumner Bros; Token Rhyme; Neil Harnett; and Soul Dust.
• Main Stage, West Beach:
Saturday: James Devon; Phil Dickson; Behind Sapphire; Jackie Valentine; The Oh Wells; Their There; and Star Captains.
Sunday: The Blues Puppy;
Jesse Burch; Glen Pearson; Arsen Shomakhov; Pappa Dawg; David ‘Boxcar’ Gates; Velvet Bulldozer; Jason Buie; Jimmy D. Lane; All Star blues guitar summit.
• Selected after-hours events (begin after stages finish):
Friday: Myles Bigalow at Deluxe.
Saturday: Star Captains at the Washington Avenue Grill; Lorne Warr at Slainte by the Pier.
Sunday: Blues Jam at West Beach Grill; Sumner Brothers at Organic Connection.