MusicFest magic carries on

When temperatures dropped the magic of MusicFest was but a faint memory.

DOUG COX and BettySoo will perform at the Cumberland Hotel as part of a series promoted by Vancouver Island MusicFest.

DOUG COX and BettySoo will perform at the Cumberland Hotel as part of a series promoted by Vancouver Island MusicFest.

In the past, when temperatures dropped and rain and darkness began to fill the sky more often than not, the magic of MusicFest was but a faint memory.

That’s no longer true.

Since August, Vancouver Island MusicFest has been presenting at least once concert a month at the Cumberland Hotel.

“This is a great way to keep MusicFest happening all year long,” says VIMF executive producer Doug Cox. “The concerts provide an opportunity for people to hear some great musicians and also serve as fundraisers for our major summer festival.”

By tapping into his connections in the music industry Cox found lots of musicians touring on Vancouver Island who were looking for venues to fill up their tour calendar. “It’s primarily festival type music like folk and blues,” explains Cox. “We’ll also have some theme night featuring local musicians but no huge show.”

Gigs for November include award-winning guitarist Wendell Ferguson; the dynamic duo of BettySoo and Doug Cox and blues-based singer/songwriter Tim Williams. Dates and other details are available at

“Most of the musicians are singer/songwriters,” says Cox. “So the performances are more listening concerts than bar concerts. There’s a really nice feel and a lot of the MusicFest community comes out.”

Cox notes that the Cumberland Hotel is just the right size to generate a relaxed, coffee house-style ambiance.

As well as a more intimate atmosphere, the smaller venues create a very affordable ticket price. For most concerts, tickets purchased in advance at the Cumberland Hotel are $20, while those bought at the door cost $25.

Over the winter VIMF will look at adding house concerts that are accessible to all ages, as well as some workshops with touring musicians. Mini-workshops in local schools are also a possibility.

For more information, visit or phone 250-336-8844.

— Vancouver Island MusicFest


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