Although the festival will be streamed online instead of performed live due to the COVID-19 virus, Roots & Blues favourite Irish Mythen will be back this year. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Roots & Blues festival trades Salmon Arm stage for online streaming

Although COVID-19 has halted a live festival, it can be watched digitally on Black Press Media sites

It is as much a part of summer in Salmon Arm as sunshine, but the Roots & Blues festival will not be lighting up the Salmon Arm fairgrounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, while large in-person gatherings are not allowed, organizers are not giving up on the 2020 festival.

If festival-goers can’t go to Roots & Blues, Roots & Blues is coming to them — an online festival featuring high-quality video of artists booked for this year and favourites from previous years will be broadcast Aug. 14-16 from 7 to 9 p.m. each night.

Those hoping to watch the digital festival can catch it on the Salmon Arm Observer’s website, or on the sites of other Black Press Media publications.

Read More: Searchers don’t lose hope of finding signs of missing women in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Read More: On This Spot app brings historic Salmon Arm to life

Peter North, the festival’s artistic director, said a lot of work has gone into keeping the Roots & Blues vibe intact despite swapping stages for screens.

“I’m really impressed with how gracious the artists, managers and agents have been,” North said.

“Everyone went the extra mile to make it happen.”

North described the professional multi-camera recordings of the artists which will be streamed on the festival nights as the next best thing to seeing the performances in person. Along with the newly-recorded video, North said footage of main stage performances from festival favourites like Jim Cuddy and Michael Franti will also be shown.

Read More: B.C.’s daily COVID-19 case count jumps to 50

Read More: Fourteen blazes sparked in Kamloops Fire Centre

North said many of the streamed performances carry a similar feel to the workshop performances at the in-person festival which often carry a central theme but give different artists the freedom to jam and create together.

While Alberta country singer Corb Lund won’t be getting his time on the Roots & Blues main stage this year, North said a multi-artist tribute to Canadian country music legend Ian Tyson, which Lund will play in, is bound to be a highlight.

He said a set by Grammy-nominated harmonica player Mark Hummel will be a great showcase of pre Second World War acoustic blues tunes and viewers will also be able to tune in for shows from the BC World Music collective and folk musicians the Paperboys.

Irish Mythen, who has been a favourite at the festival in recent years, recorded a few songs from her home on Prince Edward Island which will also be streamed for the festival.

While North said he is looking forward to the online festival, everyone else who works to bring Roots & Blues to life is eager to see it back at the Salmon Arm fairgrounds next year.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

MusicRoots and Blues Festival

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

Just Posted

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

83 per cent feel governments should mask wearing in all indoor public spaces

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Kevin Hart inks new multi-platform deal with SiriusXM

New programs to provide more ‘real, raw and authentic conversations’

‘Monkey Beach’ film brings beloved Haisla novel to life with ‘magical realism’

Film set to premier as opening film at Vancouver International Film Festival

Bryson DeChambeau blasts way to U.S. Open title

Bryson DeChambeau blasts way to U.S. Open title

DeChambeau carves up US Open one divot-sized slice at a time

DeChambeau carves up US Open one divot-sized slice at a time

Calgary wants to be a World Cup freestyle, snowboard hub city

Calgary wants to be a World Cup freestyle, snowboard hub city

Forge FC downs HFX Wanderers in Canadian Premier League championship game

Forge FC downs HFX Wanderers in Canadian Premier League championship game

Among multiple tournament cancellations, IIHF president puts faith in Edmonton

Among multiple tournament cancellations, IIHF president puts faith in Edmonton

Lightning the latest to learn Dallas Stars’ defence can be downright offensive

Lightning the latest to learn Dallas Stars’ defence can be downright offensive

Most Read