Passenger will play Vancouver Island MusicFest July 14. Photo by Jarrad Seng

Passenger added to Vancouver Island MusicFest lineup

Scheduled to play the main stage Saturday evening

Calling him “this generation’s Cat Stevens,” Vancouver Island MusicFest executive producer Doug Cox has announced Passenger as the next headlining act for this summer’s three-day festival at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

Cox added it was “this generation” that introduced him to Passenger.

“I kept hearing this wonderful music coming out of my (19-year-old) daughter Caileigh’s bedroom,” he said. “Quite often, she turns me onto what’s going on with music — as all my kids do. This was a couple of years ago now, but every time I heard her playing his music, I found myself asking her who it was, because I really liked him a lot.

“I found out that he had been interested in playing some of the festivals, so I put an offer in on him. When I told them he would be sharing the stage with Ry Cooder, not surprisingly, I heard back very quickly that he wanted to come.”

Passenger will play on Saturday evening, July 14.

Passenger (Michael David Rosenberg) took his name from the band he fronted last decade. When the band, Passenger, disbanded in 2009, he opted to keep the band name for his solo work.

Passenger is well known for his impromptu busking performances, not only through the streets of London, but worldwide.

“I had no idea how huge he was until I started watching some of his videos, and there are some videos out there of him performing in front of 100,000 people at different events,” said Cox. “I’m really thrilled that we got him, and that we got somebody who’s a younger performer, who will also resonate with the baby boomers.”

The 33-year-old Englishman has already produced nine studio albums (including Wicked Man’s Rest, with the band), and his song, Let Her Go, was a chart-topper in countries around the world.

Although Cox has never seen Passenger in person, he comes highly recommended.

“He’s played the Edmonton Folk Festival and I heard from the people that run that festival, and people who saw him there, and they all said he was incredible. The people I have talked to all said the show is fantastic.”

With Walk Off The Earth headlining the Friday, July 13 lineup, and now Passenger on Saturday, Cox has made a concerted effort to reach as vast an audience as possible.

More Canadian acts announced

“There are also a lot of other young bands playing the festival this year,” said Cox.

Recently announced acts include Canadian rockers The Royal North (from Prince Edward Island) and Nice Horse, a female country band from Calgary.

“The Royal North … they’re like if the guys from Trailer Park Boys started a rock band,” said Cox.

“When you first see these guys it’ll make you laugh. They look like a motorcycle gang. But then you listen to them and you realize that,‘Wow, these guys are really good,’ in the spirit of Rush, and Loverboy – classic Canadian rock bands.

“As for Nice Horse, I saw them at a conference and they kind of reminded me of a young Dixie Chicks.”

Cox went to his reliable youth source for additional input on Nice Horse.

“I went home and I played it for all three of my daughters … and they all said, ‘Book them immediately. They’re great.’ ”

Sunday’s lineup is yet to be announced.

Weekend passes are available at the MusicFest site.

Just Posted

Associate pastor made early connections in Courtenay

Central Evangelical Free Church opens at former Record office

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Comox Valley teen with autism a spectacular guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Most Read