SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival gets underway Friday at the Causeway Bay Convention Centre in Summerside. The annual festival continues until Sunday (Nov. 1 to 3).
© Submitted photo
Members of the Summerside Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Association met recently to finalize the plans for their annual fall bluegrass festival Nov. 1 to 3 at the Causeway Bay Convention Centre in Summerside. Eight Island bluegrass bands as well as The Douthwrights from New Brunswick and Second Wind from Nova Scotia will be performing on the main stage all weekend. Involved in the final planning are (from left) Dave Gallant, Audrey Barlow, Guy Cormier, Mim Murphy and Dave Tingley.
The opening ceremony will kick off the weekend at 6:40 p.m. Friday, followed by a weekend of workshops, open mike sessions, concerts and after-hour jams held throughout the convention centre.
Formerly known as the Laurie and Bernice Blue Memorial Bluegrass Festival, this will be the first festival organized under the Summerside Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Association name.
"The P.E.I. Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association decided to honour Laurie Blue at their event in Rollo Bay during the summer rather than at the fall festival," explained SBAMA president Guy
Cormier. "This meant there would not be a fall festival in Summerside so the SBAMA decided to continue on with the event under their new name.
“We have the same people on our committee who have been organizing the event for years, so basically the only difference is the new name."
Organizers say the purpose of the festival is to offer great entertainment to fans of Bluegrass music as well as to promote the local Island Bluegrass bands. This year eight Island bands will be performing several times during the three-day event.
“The festival provides a venue for our local bands to showcase their talent and helps them build confidence in performing before an audience,” said committee member, Dave Tingley. "Bluegrass fans are tremendously supportive and show the same appreciation and encouragement to all performers, whether they are beginners or the more experienced."
Highlighting the weekend will be the two feature bands from the mainland. Second Wind from Antigonish, N.S., and The Douthwrights from Moncton, N.B., are no strangers to Prince Edward Island Bluegrass fans.
"Band members in both groups are multi-talented and give really great performances every time they are on stage," said stage manager, Audrey Barlow.
"Both bands will be appearing on stage several times over the weekend so ticketholders certainly will be well entertained."
Packages, which include a room and two weekend tickets, can be booked by calling the Causeway Bay Hotel at 1-800-565-7829. For more information call 436-6451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and for advanced weekend passes contact Mim Murphy at email@example.com.