Although the festival will be streamed online instead of performed live due to the COVID-19 virus, Roots & Blues favourite Irish Mythen will be back this year. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Roots & Blues festival trades Salmon Arm stage for screens province-wide

Although COVID-19 has halted a live festival, it can be watched digitally on Black Press Media sites

It is as much a part of summer in Salmon Arm as sunshine, but the Roots & Blues festival will not be lighting up the Salmon Arm fairgrounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, while large in-person gatherings are not allowed, organizers are not giving up on the 2020 festival.

If festival-goers can’t go to Roots & Blues, Roots & Blues is coming to them — an online festival featuring high-quality video of artists booked for this year and favourites from previous years will be broadcast Aug. 14-16 from 7 to 9 p.m. each night.

Those hoping to watch the digital festival can catch it on the Salmon Arm Observer’s website, or on the sites of other Black Press Media publications.

Read More: Searchers don’t lose hope of finding signs of missing women in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Read More: On This Spot app brings historic Salmon Arm to life

Peter North, the festival’s artistic director, said a lot of work has gone into keeping the Roots & Blues vibe intact despite swapping stages for screens.

“I’m really impressed with how gracious the artists, managers and agents have been,” North said.

“Everyone went the extra mile to make it happen.”

North described the professional multi-camera recordings of the artists which will be streamed on the festival nights as the next best thing to seeing the performances in person. Along with the newly-recorded video, North said footage of main stage performances from festival favourites like Jim Cuddy and Michael Franti will also be shown.

Read More: B.C.’s daily COVID-19 case count jumps to 50

Read More: Fourteen blazes sparked in Kamloops Fire Centre

North said many of the streamed performances carry a similar feel to the workshop performances at the in-person festival which often carry a central theme but give different artists the freedom to jam and create together.

While Alberta country singer Corb Lund won’t be getting his time on the Roots & Blues main stage this year, North said a multi-artist tribute to Canadian country music legend Ian Tyson, which Lund will play in, is bound to be a highlight.

He said a set by Grammy-nominated harmonica player Mark Hummel will be a great showcase of pre Second World War acoustic blues tunes and viewers will also be able to tune in for shows from the BC World Music collective and folk musicians the Paperboys.

Irish Mythen, who has been a favourite at the festival in recent years, recorded a few songs from her home on Prince Edward Island which will also be streamed for the festival.

While North said he is looking forward to the online festival, everyone else who works to bring Roots & Blues to life is eager to see it back at the Salmon Arm fairgrounds next year.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

MusicRoots and Blues Festival

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Lake Country author pens how-to guide for self-directed learning

Musical theatre actress Nadya Corscadden wrote book using personal expertise in distance education

Vernon history in pictures

Nearly 80 years ago, the Vernon Army Camp was prepping for the arrival of soldiers to be trained

Plan in place for students’ return at OKIB cultural immersion school

An outdoor program will precede the start of regular classes Sept. 21 at the school on Westside Road

Wedding party bear sprayed at Cherryville campsite

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

WATCH: Gas line repaired downtown, evac lifted

Firefighters, police on scene near 32nd Avenue — more to come

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

COLUMN: Using technology to slow the spread of COVID-19

A newly developed national app has the potential to help in the fight against the pandemic

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had more than 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Most Read