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

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read