The owner of Baba’s Lounge is calling on local artists to donate their time by taking part in a four-day fundraising music festival this December.
Ryan Abdallah said that for the first time in nearly a decade, Close to the Coast will return to Baba’s to raise money for the family of one of the festival’s founders, Lloyd Doyle, who died earlier this year.
Abdallah, along with Pat Deighan, owner of Back Alley Music and the Trailside Café, will once again team up to bring the event to life.
Deighan, who is no stranger to the Island’s music scene, met Doyle when he managed Deighan’s band, Eyes for Telescopes, circa 2000.
“Lloyd put so much into the local music scene, so it’s a way to give back to him. He did it tirelessly, for no pay,” Deighan told The Guardian. “I think he was a good manager in the sense that he’d tell you the truth and speak his mind. You don’t get that a lot. Even if you didn’t want to hear it.”
Doyle, who founded Sandbar Records in the early 2000’s, was also instrumental in laying the groundwork for Music P.E.I.
“That was a big deal,” Deighan said, adding Doyle helped a lot of young local artists move up in the music world, including Meaghan Blanchard and Catherine MacLellan. “He was always a big part of booking around here, too, bringing people in.”
“He started everyone,” Abdallah added. “He was good at seeing different things with bands, I think, and a lot of music that they couldn’t see themselves, so they wouldn’t get stuck in certain routines, or make certain mistakes he’d seen a lot of artists make.”
In the past, Close to the Coast brought new artists from around the Maritimes to the foreground, but this year will be a bit different, Abdallah said.
“(Doyle) was always about bringing new artists out and trying to find out what’s new and bring them to the scene and give them a good platform, like a good festival, for them to showcase at. But this time around, it’s a little bit more digging deeper into the crypt of older bands.”
The idea is to gather as many Island artists who worked with Doyle and played the festival in the past, and have them perform the one-off festival from Dec. 20-23.
The festival will have late shows and earlier entertainment, including singer-songwriter circles and jams.
There are many artists who have already agreed to play, and Deighan said it’s going to be an exciting event.
“It’ll be a blast from the past, for sure,” he said. “Everybody’s pumped, all the artists are pumped. Everyone loves an excuse to dust off the ol’ bands and get them out.”
Abdallah is also hoping sponsors will jump on board.