Sooke River Bluegrass Festival reaches out

The Victoria Bluegrass Association hosts the March 30 All-Star Bluegrass Celebration

The Sweet Lowdown members Amanda Blied (guitar)

A one-night preview of this summer’s Sooke River Bluegrass Festival is coming to Oak Bay this month.

Local bands The Sweet Lowdown, The Moonshiners, the Clover Point Drifters and the Riverside Trio, will share the stage at Oak Bay United Church on March 30 as part of The All-Star Bluegrass Celebration.

It’s a fundraiser and a sneak peek for the annual festival scheduled June 14 to 16 at the Sooke River Campground.

“It does more than highlight some of the talent for the festival with an awesome response,” said Phil Shaver of the Sooke Bluegrass Festival Society.

“It’s our first time doing the fundraiser in Victoria and it’s long overdue. The support from the Victoria bluegrass community, the band support, it’s all been overwhelming, everyone is in support of the festival.”

The society has made outreach efforts before but this is its first time getting out of Sooke and closer to downtown.

The Victoria Bluegrass Association hosts the March 30 show that will hopefully expose a larger audience to the Sooke festival.

“We are so excited the festival is happening again and we are very happy to be part of this fundraising event in support of the festival,” said Amanda Blied of The Sweet Lowdown.

Blied and her band, well-established in the Victoria scene, is currently touring in Ontario but will be back to share their original songs, played with an old time acoustic roots sound.

Also on the bill for the all-star celebration are the The Moonshiners, who bring three-part harmonies and instrumental excursions, The Riverside Trio, with a high energy gospel sound, and The Clover Point Drifters, whose repertoire includes traditional bluegrass songs with a bluegrass spin on songs from the country, folk, blues and pop genres.

Four more bands have officially committed to the June festival with many more on the way.

New to this year’s festival is square dancing on the Saturday night, with YOMADA, the Young Oldtime Music and Dance Association, who host square dances in town.

“The dancing will help bring the Victoria community to the Sooke festival,” Shaver said. “It’s a perfect venue, what festivals are built on, with camping and parking lot jamming. When the shows are done everyone jams.”

Also new is a huge festival tent to make sure that everyone is warm and dry and happy.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. for the Saturday, March 30 All-Star Bluegrass Celebration at Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell St.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at Royal MacPherson Box Office, Oak Bay United Church office, and at the door.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Saanich Police respond to weapons incident on Veron Avenue

Police are asking the public to avoid 800-block until further notice

Victoria mayor preparing to tour Alberta oil sands

Lisa Helps heads to Alberta after an invitation came from Calgary councillor Ward Sutherland

Canadian Premier League announces media partnership with international broadcaster

Langford Mayor Stew Young said partnership is a “big deal” for Langford

Canada’s first home game in the America Rugby Championships comes this Friday

It’s Canada versus Chile Feb. 22 at Westhills Stadium in Langford

Canadians spent more than $8 billion on pet-related items in 2017

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadian households own pets

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Most Read