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Billy Currington cancels B.C. Sunfest country music festival appearance

Classic rock legend Randy Bachman tapped to replace him at annual Vancouver Island bash
Sunfest is set to go on without Billy Currington. (Citizen file)

One of the headliners has pulled out of Lake Cowichan’s Sunfest country music festival, and some ticketholders may be seeking refunds.

“Due to circumstances beyond Billy Currington and Sunfest Country’s control, Billy will not be performing at #SunfestCountry2022,” said an announcement posted yesterday on the festival’s website and social media channels. Currington was set to play Day 2 of the event, the same night as Darius Rucker and Dallas Smith.

Currington will be replaced with Canadian rock n’ roll legend Randy Bachman, a move many on social media aren’t happy about.

“I know stuff happens, but we’ve paid money to come to a country [festival] why not replace with a country artist! Not the best call Sunfest!” wrote Tiersa Rae on Sunfest Country’s Facebook page in response to the announcement.

“This is like going for ice cream and finding out it melted and your getting a popsicle instead,” wrote Ryan Dorman.

Others were a little more understanding:

“When artists cancel at the last minute it’s tough to find replacements, not the festivals fault. Randy Bachman is a Canadian Legend, and will perform Canadian Classic songs, so that’s a great opportunity to hear a legend live. Good job Sunfest!” added Kevin Warren.

Many in the comments suggested bringing other artists from the Lake Night Stage but Sunfest says the artists playing that stage are there for a reason: “The artists playing the lake night stage want to play the closing party act. They are there to keep the party going.”

Some are asking Sunfest for refunds to their tickets.

“For those that bought Friday night only tickets, we will work with them on refunds or moving their tickets to other dates,” said Sunfest spokesperson Mike Hann. “It’s a challenging world at the moment, with travel delays and border restrictions hampering plans for many international engagements. Unfortunately, due to the latter Billy’s Canadian dates have had to be cancelled.”

Hann went on to say booking headline level artists last minute is also a big challenge, “that’s why we are extremely excited that it worked out to have a music legend such as Randy Bachman play our stage on Friday July 29. Over the years we have heard many of our Sunfest mainstage artists cover Randy’s songs so we know that people are going to be ecstatic to hear the real thing live at Sunfest. It will be a nostalgic reminder of the early days of Sunfest 20+ years ago.”

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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