Bluegrass music is experiencing a resurgence around the world and a festival beginning this Thursday night in Qualicum Bay will demonstrate why.
It’s the third annual Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival, running June 27-30, featuring a renowned five-piece classic bluegrass band from Colorado, Long Road Home, as well as eight other highly skilled bands.
Leading Long Road Home is Pete Wernick, also known as Dr. Banjo, a bluegrass legend, who will also be performing at the festival with his wife and musician Joan Wernick.
Pete, who calls Lighthouse Bluegrass one of his favourite festivals, will be putting on workshops that teach beginners how to jam along to bluegrass tunes. Register for this jam camp at www.drbanjo.com. There are also some free workshops at the festival.
The fun kicks of Thursday night with the Maple Mountain Boys from Chemainus at 7 p.m. and Pete and Joan will play at 8 p.m. A bluegrass jam will finish the evening off.
Friday the grand opening takes place at 3:45 and the Bluegrass Band contest/open mic kicks off at 4 p.m. The schedule continues with the Hub City Ramblers from Victoria, Scout Mountain from Powell River, Victoria’s Cloverpoint Drifters, local award-winning musician Annie Lou Genest and at 9 p.m. Long Road Home.
Saturday is a full day of music from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. that features the above musicians plus the Alberni Valley Fiddlers and Qualicum Beach’s own Backporch Banjo. Music on Sunday runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the addition of Mission Hill from Courtenay. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings there will be pancake breakfasts. Both tenting and RV sites are available for the weekend and there are showers and flush toilets on site. The festival takes place in and around the Lighthouse Community Centre at 240 Lions Way in Qualicum Bay.
Tickets are available at the gate. Thursday evening is $20 for adults and $15 for 18 and under, 12 and under are free. A pass for Friday is $25 for adults and passes for Saturday and Sunday are $35 each day for adults. A festival weekend pass is $70 for adults for all four days. For more information visit www.lighthousebluegrass.com.