Bluegrass Festival takes a break

What would have been the tenth staging of a consistently popular festival will not be happening at Sooke Flats on the the Fathers’ Day weekend.

The Sooke Bluegrass Festival is taking a breather this year. So many amazing musicians performed at the Sooke Flats festival over the years. The Sooke River Bluegrass Festival Society will continue to function and support local bluegrass and is actively seeking new venue possibilities for future events.

The Sooke Bluegrass Festival is taking a breather this year. So many amazing musicians performed at the Sooke Flats festival over the years. The Sooke River Bluegrass Festival Society will continue to function and support local bluegrass and is actively seeking new venue possibilities for future events.

What would have been the tenth staging of a consistently popular festival will not be happening at Sooke Flats on the the Fathers’ Day weekend.

This is normally the time of year when interest and promotion of the mid-June acoustic music event starts to build with a run-down of what lies ahead and a who’s who of the bands booked for the three-day pick-fest.

Good weather and attendance for the 2010 edition of the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival had helped to give the impression of vitality to the annual venture but behind the scenes where organizational agreements and decisions are worked out, things apparently didn’t come together for the 2011 edition.

The two parties involved are the Sooke Community Association – custodians of the campground at the Philips Road site – and the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival Society.

Eric Day has been involved with running the event from the outset and he’s also a member of the Sooke Community Association. Last year he decided to step out of the organizers’ shoes and turn over the running of the festival to a group headed by Phil Shaver – no stranger to the event as he’d been a festival director for several years as well as a very well-received performer.

According to Day the community association is open for negotiations on future festivals at the site, they just couldn’t reach agreement on a fee for the use of the campground. Day chose not to disclose any figures.

Shaver confirmed that there would be no festival at the Sooke Flats this year. He said a number of alternate venues have been considered, but added, “this is not something I wish to rush into with a public notice. If people look on the website (www.sookebluegrass.com) there is a very simple message on there about the festival and where we’re at at this point.”

Bluegrass fans will no doubt be disappointed by the news, but it’s not all gloom as twice-monthly bluegrass-flavoured jams, long an Eric Day-initiated mainstay at the Royal Canadian Legion (first and third Sunday afternoons of each month, with a break in the summer) have resumed with East Sooke’s Al Planiden directing the melodious traffic.

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

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read