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)

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Ladysmith area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary donated $23,044 to Ladysmith Seconday School. From left to right: Steffen Toxopeus, Larry Shaw, Dave Travers, and Duck Paterson. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary donates $23,044 to support health of LSS students

The money will go towards funding the Hunger Bites program and purchase emergency supplies

(File photo)
LETTERS: Responses to Pateron’s Perspective

Jacqueline Leitch-Murphy, and Richard Tarnoff respond to Duck Paterson’s column

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Ladysmith driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read