Concerned about Filberg Festival music

This year was the best ever, but what does the future hold?

Dear editor,

I read, with great interest, the letter in your last edition from Mo MacKendrick, the president of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association, concerning the music at the Filberg Festival.

Firstly, let me say that this year’s Filberg was the best I have ever attended by all measures but most especially by the quality of the music at both the stages this year.

I was there early to see outstanding noon performances on each of the four days and I noted that there were more chairs than usual and that they were all full and there was a substantial crowd standing behind the chairs for much of the day.

I also noted that, like myself, these people all stayed at the festival after the headliner performances and bought food, music and crafts during the rest of the day. I am sure that is why the festival was the unprecedented success that I understand that it was this year.

Bobbie Blue deserves (and repeatedly got) most of the credit for the excellent music of this and previous festivals.

What was disturbing to many of us was the references from the performers (most notably Michael Kaeshammer) that this would be his last performance at the Filberg, the organization that got him his first “gig” and much of his early fame.

He must surely have been given this impression from someone in the organization.

Talking with other performers left me with the same impression, so it became obvious that there are major changes afoot starting with the non-renewal of Bobbie Blue’s contract.

Mo’s assertion that the music will live on is only partially reassuring; it is the form that this music will take is the unknown and troubling part of this situation. If cuts have to be made in order that the Filberg Festival generate more revenue, then cutting back on the music budget is absolutely going to prove counter-productive.

Most of us, I am sure, besides paying for memberships, would gladly pay more to attend this outstanding festival if we knew that, by doing so, we could maintain the excellent calibre of this event.

I have no idea who Lewis and Sears Marketing and Event Management is but I really doubt that a better job could possibly be done on music programming than has been accomplished by Bobbie Blue during the past several years.

Please seriously consider any changes you are thinking of making to an already-outstanding event.

John McNamee,

Comox