Salmon Arm  

More than 30,000 people attended 30th annual Roots & Blues festival in Salmon Arm

Big year for the blues

In this case, singing the blues was a good thing.

The 30th annual Roots & Blues festival Aug. 19-21 in Salmon Arm saw 30,994 people converge on the Shuswap community.

“Whatever stage you were at, wherever you were on the grounds, the energy and the camaraderie was just incredible — for both the audiences and the performers,” says Kevin Tobin, artistic director.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend for the return of this much-loved festival and a very special anniversary year.

“For the past 30 years, the society has made it its mission to bring world-class and culturally diverse music to Salmon Arm for all to experience. These grounds were vibrating with what happens when you give people a chance to share their gifts with new audiences.”

It was also a year of the festival living up to its motto: "where musicians go to play."

Closing the main stage Friday night, Canadian rock legend Tom Cochrane said" “I love this festival. I love Salmon Arm.”

By Sunday morning, Roots & Blues spilled beyond the festival grounds as it was announced only limited tickets remained for the final night — a festival record.

Planning is already underway for the 31st annual festival next summer, but in the meantime, Tobin says the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society is preparing for two off-season shows this fall.

Limited tickets remain to see the Joel Plaskett Emergency with Mo Kenney at Song Sparrow Hall Sept. 11, and tickets have already started to sell for Whitehorse’s Oct. 7 performance.

For more information about upcoming performances at Song Sparrow Hall, click here.

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