EDITORIAL: Comox Valley on musical map

The booking of international star k.d. lang is more evidence that the Vancouver Island Music Festival has gained international status.

The booking of international star k.d. lang is more evidence that the Vancouver Island Music Festival has itself gained international status.

MusicFest’s reputation outside the Comox Valley grows each year, thanks to the ever-growing contacts made by musical traveller Doug Cox and the canny bookings he makes for VIMF.

An expert dobro player, Cox tours the world with several groups of musicians spanning several genres.

He’s always on the lookout for talent to book for MusicFest, and it seems he always finds what he’s looking for, even if he has to wait years sometimes to land a big fish he’s after.

Don’t underestimate the word of mouth among musicians who play here and tell others what a beautiful place this is, how well they’re treated and how cool the music is.

MusicFest doesn’t have something for everybody – headbangers and opera fans would be disappointed – but each year’s lineup covers an impressive breadth of musical styles.

There are a many accessible sounds mingled with some edgy, boundary-pushing explorations that make each festival an artistic triumph.

Triumphing financially can be a different matter, and Cox admits the Alison Krauss Thursday night experiment led to some red ink last year.

Look for VIMF to run a tighter fiscal ship this year, with fewer freebies.

It’s necessary to ensure the long-term viability of an event that is the crown jewel of the Valley of Festivals, but it could alienate some local people who have become accustomed to not paying.

Because it’s right here in our backyard, some people might take the festival for granted. Don’t.

We are blessed to have MusicFest, and many other high-quality cultural events in the Comox Valley.

If we want them to continue, they need our support. There’s no better way to show that than by bucking up.

More big names, and lesser-known but brilliant acts, will soon be announced. Keep reading the Record and you’ll be among the first to know.