Poster for the Saturday Night Summer Series. (Submitted image)

GroundZero, Knox United team up for concert series in Parksville

‘Everyone was just so excited to be able to hear live music again’

The future of live music in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area is uncertain, leaving people like Doug Pickard in a state of limbo.

He’s the owner of GroundZero Acoustic Lounge in Parksville, a small venue known for hosting touring and local acts alike. Before COVID-19, the spot would hold jam sessions, open mics and more. Even with restrictions easing across the province, the venue is still too small to safely hold a large enough audience to make GZAL financially viable for Pickard. He calls the future of the space “uncertain.”

“We don’t sell drinks and we don’t serve food. We can only generate income from door sales, to be honest,” he said. “Who ever would have thought a pandemic would have caused this to happen?”

Luckily, he’s found a way to keep the music alive. He’s teamed up with Karen Freeman, facility co-ordinator at Knox United Church, for a summer concert series. The church, located at 345 Pym St. in Parksville, has enough room for ample social distancing.

“I’m so excited to at least do some shows with Knox Church and Karen and to at least bring in some musicians,” he said. “It’s totally cool.”

READ MORE: New digs for young music venue

They’ve done one show so far, on July 10, and Freeman said it was so great to see people enjoying live music again.

“Everyone was just so excited to be able to hear live music again and to see a performance,” she said. “So, it’s really great to be involved in that kind of a partnership where it’s something that benefits so many. The musicians themselves are just so excited to get back and play in front of people and so we’re happy to provide that space.”

Freeman said they’ve done a lot to make the space safe for audience members and performers. Masks are required to be worn during shows and doors are left open to allow for airflow.

“We’ve invested in a fogging machine through Island Cleaning Supplies that we can go in there in between shows,” she said.

The lineup for the rest of the series is as follows: Heartwood on July 25; Edie Daponte on Aug 8; Brandon Isaak on August 22; David Essig on Sept 28 and Leeroy Stagger on Sept 26. All tickets are $30, with two shows being offered each night: one at 5 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. More information and tickets can be found at All tickets are purchased beforehand.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Live musicParksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


A July 10 concert at Knox United Church, part of their partnership with GroundZero Acoustic Lounge. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Bowser attic blaze contained by fire crews

Early-morning stove fire spread to attic

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

Island MP says fish harvester benefit needs a wider application window

Courtenay-Alberni’s Gord Johns requests expanded application period for fish harvester benefits

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read