Ready to rock: lineup unveiled for Sylvan Lake music festival

Hedley, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, Dragonette and Dear Rouge are the first acts announced for a brand-new, two-day outdoor music festival planned for Sylvan Lake this summer.

Hedley, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, Dragonette and Dear Rouge are the first acts announced for a brand-new, two-day outdoor music festival planned for Sylvan Lake this summer.

Electric guitar sounds should meld with the hum of watercraft on Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11, when the Summer Sensation Beach Music Festival is expected to bring pop, rock and electronica groups to Centennial Park, next to the lake.

Ten to 12 different bands will entertain at the event, which is expected to attract up to 4,000 people a day, ages 13 and up, said promoter Quan Diep, president and managing director of True Channel Entertainment, of Red Deer and Calgary.

“We’re trying to bring in the best acts we can,” he added — particularly those that are family-friendly, considering the open-air setting.

Toronto alt-rockers Our Lady Peace were signed as first-day headliners, while Vancouver’s radio band Hedley will cap-off the second day of the festival. “It’s very exciting,” said Diep, that major entertainers are coming to Central Alberta to perform at the beautiful lake-side location. “Cool things are coming to the Red Deer area.”

The full entertainment schedule — including performances by B.C. rocker Good, Ontario synth-pop band Dragonette, Dear Rouge (co-founded by Red Deer-native Danielle McTaggart), and other acts, yet to be announced — will be posted over the next few weeks on the website SummerSensationFest.com.

Besides offering live music from a large portable stage set up on the eastern edge of the park (located between the lake and Lakeshore Drive), there are plans to have two fenced beer gardens and vendors at the site. The entire park will also have to be temporarily fenced off with entry gates.

Diep, a Red Deer-based promoter who has toured international artists, such as Snoop Dogg, Dwight Yoakam, 50 Cent and LMFAO, across Canada, said he began talking with the Town of Sylvan Lake about having the outdoor festival in 2014. But time got tight and it was pushed back a year.

Organizing such a large-scale event is a huge undertaking, he added, noting it requires plans for security, parking, fencing and addressing other concerns.

While the Town of Sylvan Lake approved the Summer Sensation Beach Music Festival — described by municipal communications person Joanne Gaudet as “pretty exciting, with some great bands” — this approval hangs on various conditions being fulfilled.

Gaudet said some conditions must be signed off on by June 1 — including a plan to have eight additional RCMP officers (besides those working at the Sylvan Lake detachment) available, as well as certified security people, ambulance and first-aid workers.

Diep said a big focus is being put on security, to ensure the festival goes off without major “hitches.”

“We want it to run as smoothly as possible… That’s very important for us, because we want it to be the start of an annual thing.”

Parking provisions must also be arranged. The promoter is looking at using empty lots next to the town’s arena (which sustained a collapsed roof in the winter of 2014).

“I’m optimistic that we’ll get things worked out,” said Gaudet.

Meanwhile, festival tickets ranging from $80 for a single-day pass to $180 for a weekend VIP pass, are expected to go on sale from the website at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (May 27).

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