Bluegrass Festival set to kick off in Deep Bay

Deep Bay to play host to a plethora of pickin' on the long weekend

Local band BackPorch Banjo will be bringing their old time foot stomping bluegrass sound to the Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival this weekend.

Local band BackPorch Banjo will be bringing their old time foot stomping bluegrass sound to the Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival this weekend.

Tight vocal harmonies with fiddle, banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar and upright bass are some of the trademarks of bluegrass music the second annual Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival this weekend will provide three days of non-stop entertainment.

There will be picking parties everywhere as Deep Bay welcomes musicians from far and wide over the Canada Day long weekend.

The Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival presents everything from old time music, string band music, new grass, grass rock and other variations on the theme.

Last year at the first annual Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival local group BackPorch Banjo shared the stage with Canada’s premiere bluegrass band, the Foggy Hogtown Boys and the international bluegrass supergroup, Long Road Home featuring Pete Wernick aka Dr. Banjo, from Colorado.

Linda Thorburn who plays a 5-string Scruggs style banjo with BackPorch Banjo said her group will be performing this year but will just do one set at the festival because she will be one busy lady during the event.

Thorburn has been immersed in bluegrass for over 30 years and as one of the festival organizers she knows what works and what doesn’t and she said they want to continue to build on the success of last year’s inaugural festival.

She said bringing amazing talent is costly but well worth it because they want people here to experience a first class bluegrass festival.

“I am choosy about the bands.  I know who the good ones are.  We have some clout and can pick and choose who we want so why not have a few good ones?  Each year we can get better and that is the goal,” she acknowledged.

Acclaimed John Reischman and The Jay Birds out of Vancouver as well as Mark Phillips & IIIrd Generation from Norman Oklahoma are this year’s headliners.

Mark Phillips & IIIrd Generation Bluegrass Band is a talented group of award-winning musicians who perform hard-driving traditional bluegrass and bluegrass-gospel music.

Young and energetic, the band consistently entertains audiences all over North America.

With five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations the buzz around John Reischman and The Jaybirds continues to grow.

Like the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on bluegrass that is innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new.

Their live show is a genial blend of story-telling and side-show humor with their studied performance of original songs, instrumentals, and newly arranged traditional material.

Thorburn explained that bringing in such stellar musicians and having a great venue is only part of it.

She said it’s the bluegrass fans who bring their love of the music that make it a great event and when you are at the festival you can forget about everyday stuff and just enjoy the magic of it all.

This year’s festival takes place on June 29, 30 and July 1 with camping, pancake breakfasts and three days of non-stop music.

The festival includes a Friday night dance at the Lighthouse Community Hall in Qualicum Bay with Sweet Ginger.

Admission to the dance is included with a Bluegrass Festival three day weekend pass which also includes camping.

Day passes and evening tickets are also available and can be purchased at the gate.

For ticket prices and details on the entertainment line-up email info@lighthousebluegrass.com.