Sooke River Bluegrass festival gets new name and location

After 16 years on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the Sooke River Bluegrass festival is moving to a new location on Lake Cowichan, about 60 miles north on the island. With the move, the festival is being rebranded as the Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival, and will hold its inaugural event June 14-16, 2019.

Organizers say that the move was precipitated by a need for more space, with RV and camping sites being gobbled up quickly each year. Held henceforth at Laketown Ranch, the festival can accommodate more campers, and a larger parking facility makes space for day visitors far more convenient. There are also more amenities on this part of the island, for families who may want to experience those as well as the music.

Ferry service to the island from Vancouver city is offered all day, as is a ferry from Seattle, WA.

To launch the new festival, organizers have booked new Canadian resident Claire Lynch as the headliner, along with a wide array of Canadian and US bluegrass talent. All will play under the ranch’s 5,800 sq ft covered performance area, so the music can proceed rain or shine.

Festival President Phil Shaver says that they will retain their longtime association with the Victoria Bluegrass Association, and feels certain that fans of Sooke River will find Cowichan to be an amenable new home.

Full details can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.