Bluegrass beckons at the Sooke flats

Pickin' and strummin' at weekend jam

A catchy line from A Field of Dreams goes, “If you build it he will come.”

Around the middle of this month at the Sooke Flats you could say, “If you pick it he will strum.”

Okay, it’s weak… but a rhythmic, mighty and melodic turnout is hoped for from Friday to Sunday, June 17-19.

This is a Bluegrass Camp-out weekend at the traditional location, and on the customary dates of the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival.

The formal, structured event may be on indefinite hiatus as of this year, but the jamming and socializing so critical to any successful festival is set to go ahead.

This is a time to celebrate the unique sound that is bluegrass music.

Drums, horns, marimbas, didgeridoos, bagpipes, keyboards and amps may be left at home and kept in top condition for the right occasion… this is a weekend for putting the focus on acoustic stringed instruments and the distinctive vocal stylings of the bluegrass genre. For those who may not be in the know, we’re talking guitars, fiddles, 5-string banjos, mandolins, resophonic (Dobro®-type) guitars and stand-up basses.

This is little more than a strong recommendation… if you show up with an acoustic bass guitar no one is going to try to throw you out.

Spoon players, however, please take note: acute sensitivity in assessing jamming opportunities will serve you well.

An on-again-off-again debate on whether harmonicas belong in this type of scene has raged for decades in parking lots and online chat rooms, suffice to say that if there is any doubt… leave the Hohner at home or in a locked car.

In all other cases musical ability is secondary to enthusiasm… it’s about sharing the love of a venerable art form and it all takes place at the spacious Sooke Flats campground.

The Lions Club will have its concession in operation to see that your food and coffee needs don’t go unmet. Those camping at the flats are free to enjoy the action as they wish.

For non-campers a daily fee of $5 will apply.

Bring the kind of stuff you think you’ll want: spare strings, picks, TUNER… high-end armless lawn chair?

Those who care to listen from the sidelines are as welcome as the loons in June!

That’s June 17–19. To reserve call 250-642-6076, for more information – 250-642-3553.

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