Blues legends are in Burnaby this Saturday, Aug. 9, for the annual Blues + Roots Festival at Deer Lake Park. Headlining the show is the incomparable Big Sugar: the Canadian blues-rock-reggae band have inspired acts like The Black Crowes over their illustrious 20-year career. Opening acts include Matt Andersen, the blues artist from New Brunswick known for his impassioned vocals and guitar playing, as well as Bettye LeVette, the Motown legend who toured with Otis Redding and James Brown.
The venue for the day-long festival, which features a dozen acts in total is Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park. Located just off Highway 1 in Burnaby, the park is a unique natural oasis in the middle of the city. Walking trails wind around the lake and through acres of parkland. Musicians will be performing on three separate stages throughout the day, starting at 1 p.m. with the local acts and finishing up with Big Sugar on the main stage at 8:30 p.m.
Seating is general admission on the big grass lawns (now a little dry from the summer heat), so lawn chairs and blankets are highly recommended. Food and drinks (including beer) will be sold on site. Tickets are $50 in advance or $65 the day of the event. To get yours online, check out the Blues + Roots Festival website.
Apart from the headliners, there’s plenty of other talent to watch out for at the festival. From Dublin, young blues siren Imelda May brings her rockabilly beat to the main stage 4 p.m. Playing everything from guitar to banjo and violin, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton offers an updated take on blues and jazz from the ’20s and ’30s at 3:15 p.m. on the Garden Stage. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan-bred blues favourites Wide Mouth Mason bring their hard-rocking style to the festival at 4:45 p.m. on the Westwood Stage. For a complete line-up, see the website.
And if you get bored of the music, there’s lots more to do at Deer Lake Park. An easy 5.7-kilometer hike leads around the lake and into the wetlands along Beaver Creek, offering a great glimpse of Vancouver’s natural scenery. And Deer Lake Park is also Burnaby’s cultural hub: The Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Village Museum and Hart House Restaurant are all nearby.
Anyone planning to go to the festival this weekend? Any suggestions for can’t-miss acts?
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