Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival finds its rhythm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival finds its rhythm

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
Image Credit: Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
August 16, 2017 - 1:00 PM

SALMON ARM - The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival is back on track.

The festival, which is in its 25th year, kicks off Thursday, Aug. 17, and according to artistic director Peter North, the mood is upbeat.

“Things are really good on the ticket sale and enthusiasm front,” North says.

Just a few years ago, the event was in financial trouble due to rising costs, competition with other festivals, dwindling government funding for the arts, along with poor weather.

But North says the hard times are over.

“We stopped the bleeding and last year was our third biggest festival in the history of 24 years,” North says, noting the community and City of Salmon Arm were instrumental in supporting the festival. “We erased all that debt.”

Image Credit: Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

He says organizers have also tweaked things on the festival grounds to make it more user friendly, and have zeroed in on what makes Roots and Blues unique.

“I think having a focussed artistic vision again. We’re not a pop festival or a rock festival — we’re a roots and blues festival,” he says. “There’s concern about bringing in the next generation of music fans, but I don’t think pop music is the way to go if you’re a blues festival.”

This year’s festival boasts a huge variety of acts, from blue grass to celtic to indigenous music, North says.

“Whether people know the acts or not, they can be assured when they walk over to a stage, the calibre of musicianship will be high,” North says.

Despite wildfires and smoke across the province affecting some areas of tourism, North says ticket sales are on track.

“We’re ahead of our projections which is is really nice given the smoke issues we’ve been dealing with. It’s a beautiful blue sky here (today) which is nice to see,” he says. “It looks like it will be a good weekend.”

He adds that there aren’t any wildfires burning near Salmon Arm.

Click here for festival information.

Image Credit: Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

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