Burnaby Blues + Roots returns for a 'magical' 20th anniversary

Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan are headlining for the 20th anniversary festival at Deer Lake Park on Saturday, Aug. 10

Mellow out in the sunshine with a cold beverage. Dance the evening away to high-energy tunes. Bring the whole family and enjoy all the kid-focused fun. Stock up on all kinds of foodie treats and eat yourself silly while you listen to the music.

However you choose to enjoy the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, it’s bound to be a good day.

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“It’s going to be another fun day in the park,” said Jared Bowles, marketing and sponsorship coordinator. “It’s hard not to have a great time at the event, at the festival, just being at the park period. …. It’s kinda magical.”

The festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend, runs at Deer Lake Park on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 1 to 10 p.m. This year’s lineup features Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan, William Prince, The War and Treaty, and Southern Avenue, plus a special appearance by Speed Control.

“Being able to have both Feist and Lord Huron, who have been quite popular over the last few years, and Dan Mangan, who’s from the area – those are three really great names to hang your hat on. We’re thrilled to have them at Deer Lake Park,” Bowles said. “The best part is they’re three really different types of artists. It’s going to be really entertaining.”

He’s equally excited about the other acts: Southern Avenue, the young Memphis band that will kick off the party with their traditional blues music; William Prince, a JUNO Award-winning singer-songwriter from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba; and The War and Treaty, the Washington, D.C.-based duo whom Bowles noted have been getting a great buzz leading up to the festival.

Speed Control is a Yukon-based rock band that will be bringing a new feature to the festival: Rawk Camp.

For the week leading up to the festival, starting Tuesday, Aug. 6, young participants can take part in a camp with the professional rockers to put together a small set for the festival. Two camps are available – one for kids aged eight to 11, the other for those aged 12 to 24 – and both are open to people of all experience levels, including total newcomers.

“This gives them the chance to try something: to have no experience, to be able to work for a week, put a few songs together. … Whether you want to play the guitar or you want to sing or you want to play the keyboard or whatever, they’ve got numerous instruments,” Bowles said.

The students will then show off their stuff on festival day, onstage with Speed Control.

“It gives folks the opportunity to kind of live the rock star dream,” Bowles said, adding it will be a positive atmosphere for the performers since the festival always has a friendly vibe. “There’ll be lots of encouragement.”

Outside of the music, the festival is once again offering a number of side attractions.

“People can move around the site and experience other forms of entertainment,” Bowles said.

Among them is a series of workshops about the blues, led by Jack Lavin, a Chicago native who’s a veteran of the Vancouver blues scene. He’ll lead sessions in Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans blues, plus a session on brass and horn music. Those will be outside, on a small stage towards the main entrance to Shadbolt Centre.

The Blues Market will also be back, with 12 to 14 vendors bringing their artisan wares to the festival grounds.

And, of course, there will be food - lots and lots of food, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free and low-carb options, courtesy of a host of on-site food trucks. The festival grounds will once again be licensed (for all except the children’s zone), so people can take their beer and wine and move around the site.

Bowles noted the festival is also once again focusing on being family-friendly. As always, there will be a family area, with a number of art and play activities for children. Plus, kids 12 and under get in free (adults just have to make arrangements with the box office at 604-205-3000).

Naturally, since the festival is outside, audience members need to come prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at the crowd - even if it’s not the sunshine that Bowles is ordering up for the occasion.

“It’s Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, so I hope by now people are used to having fun in the rain,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not going to rain, but if it does, I hope people know to dress for the weather.”

A full list of festival planning tips – including the dos and don’ts of what to bring with you – is available at www.burnabybluesfestival.com. You can also find food truck and market vendor listings there.



The Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival is produced by the City of Burnaby in association with Live Nation Canada.

Seating is general admission, lawn seating, for all ages.

Single tickets are available for $60 and four-pack tickets for $200, plus service charges. Day-of-show tickets are $70 for single admission, plus service charge.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.ca or by calling 1-855-985-5000.




1:00 – 1:45 p.m.:  Speed Control

2:05 – 2:50 p.m.: Southern Avenue

3:10 – 3:55 p.m.: William Prince

4:25 – 5:10 p.m.: The War & Treaty

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Dan Mangan

7:00 – 8:15 p.m.: Lord Huron

8:45 – 10:00 p.m.: Feist


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