Waddy Wachtel and Leland Sklar were just of a few of the studio legends behind so many hits that took to the stage at the 2019 festival. The fest is again online for 2021. Record file photo

Waddy Wachtel and Leland Sklar were just of a few of the studio legends behind so many hits that took to the stage at the 2019 festival. The fest is again online for 2021. Record file photo

Vancouver Island MusicFest plans online event with Comox Valley touches

Organizer Doug Cox says BC Tourism will help online event promote music and community

The Vancouver Island MusicFest is again looking to an online event to fill the void this summer, as this community, like so many others, adjusts to pandemic life.

Even with vaccine distribution, many events are holding off a return to normal in 2021.

Last summer, after having to cancel a festival that was to feature the likes of Lucinda Williams and Corb Lund, the festival organizers decided to do an online broadcast via Facebook that featured local musicians and those from afar, playing songs or delivering greetings, along with others like festival volunteers sharing their stories.

Festival artistic director Doug Cox told the Record that they are planning another one for this summer and working hard for the online presentation.

“We’ve got some really cool things that’ll be happening,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

One change will be to involve more locals doing video in locations around the Comox Valley. If not being able to hold a live festival for this year is a misfortune, Cox says, there is an opportunity to have a presentation over the internet that will really promote the region and its artists.

“What we’re doing is we’re shooting all over the valley,” Cox said. “Each time a local performer’s featured on our weekend, we’re also going to be featuring an area of the valley.”

This way the event will not only be about the music, but will serve as a tour guide to introduce viewers outside the area to life in the valley and why so many people love living here. The locations could include restaurants, hotels, natural sites, the mountain or golf courses.

“We’ll feature those as part of our weekend festival, and then we’re giving those videos that we’ve produced to the performers and to our tourism partners, for them all to use as they please,” he said. “It’s a promotional thing the likes of what no one has seen around here…. People will be able to see the valley on the internet in a way that they never have before.”

Key to this will be some BC Tourism funding, which has gotten involved with the festival, and Cox is excited about the possibilities of partnerships for the festival and the area as a whole.

“This is a reflection of working with [BC] Tourism,” he said. “They’re allowing us to use that money this year to promote that online event.”


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