Cha Wa was one of the highlights onstage at last year’s MusicFest. On July 10, organizers are holding an online Facebook celebration to mark the weekend that was supposed to be this year’s festival. Record file photo

Cha Wa was one of the highlights onstage at last year’s MusicFest. On July 10, organizers are holding an online Facebook celebration to mark the weekend that was supposed to be this year’s festival. Record file photo

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

The upcoming weekend was to be the time when Lucinda Williams, Corb Lund and others brought their musical talents to the Vancouver Island Music Festival in the Comox Valley.

Like so many other events, this year’s festival, set for July 10 through 12, was cancelled in response to health restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

The festival organizers, though, do not want the weekend to pass without some sort of celebration, so they have organized an online broadcast to celebrate MusicFest on their Facebook page starting Friday, July 10 starting at 7 p.m. MusicFest artistic director Doug Cox isn’t sure, but they might do a second evening on Saturday, July 11, depending on how many contributions he gets.

“Right now, it’s Friday night for sure,” he said. “It might end up being longer.”

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 forces cancellation of Vancouver Island MusicFest

When the Record spoke to him, he was in the midst of editing the many submissions that have come in already.

“There’s going to be all kinds of archival stuff. There’s clips that performers have been sending me,” he said. “There’s all kinds of clips from our volunteers and our staff.”

For this online event, they have asked people to contribute a video greeting or memory to the celebration. They’ve also asked performers to contribute a song, though they remind people if they’re using cell phones to shoot sideways – in other words, to orient the image horizontally or “landscape.” The sound quality also needs to be clear. The deadline is Monday.

“The stuff has been coming in like mad,” Cox said. “It’s really been heartening. It’s been a really fun thing to be working on…. I really want it to be about the spirit of the festival.”

They are planning some surprises and special guests as part of the event. Cox does not want to give details, but he’s said he has had contributions from as far away as England and Los Angeles, along with people closer to home.

“They’re from all over the place,” he said.

As important as the artists’ contributions have been, Cox is just as impressed by some of what festival volunteers have had to say in their submissions about what the event means. He says he has watched a lot of other similar Internet broadcasts recently, and he thinks this one will stand out.

“This is, sort of, one of the most heartfelt, cool ones I think anybody’s going to see,” he said.

People can watch for themselves via the Vancouver Island MusicFest Facebook page on Friday – and maybe Saturday.

Cox also took part in a livestream “concert in the round” event for the fest in late June, performing with The Harpoonist, Carolyn Mark and Corwin Fox. He admits it was a little strange playing without an audience but was still fun.

“We had a good time,” he added. “It was really nice for all of us because none of us had played music with anybody for two months.”

Vancouver Island MusicFest has also set dates on the calendar for the next festival. It will take place July 9 to 11, 2021.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comox Valleymusic festivals

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

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Royal Bay Secondary School (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke School District alerts community to coronavirus positive case at Royal Bay secondary

Contact tracing underway after potential COVID-19 exposure Jan. 15

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read