Robert Dunning

Forest songs to echo across Chilliwack park

Chilliwack Music Festival bands teens

Where the Forest Songs Are is an all-day music festival set for Saturday, Aug. 13 at Island 22, with six live bands on stage for twenty bucks.

“It’s going to be a great thing for Chilliwack,” event organizer Robert Dunning predicts. “This isn’t a company putting it on, we’re a bunch of young adults who love music.”

Their vision is to debut the new festival in Chilliwack for up-and-coming bands from around the Lower Mainland.

“There used to be a pretty sweet music scene in Chilliwack,” Dunning laments. “But in the last few years it has kind of disappeared. We’re hoping this gets established as an annual event.”

Dunning, 19, is not a musician, but several of his friends play in bands.

“I just like planning shows,” he admits. “This is the biggest one yet, and it’s been a lot of work.”

His friends, Simon Bridgefoot and Jamison Dick, have been helping with some of the details of mounting the mammoth show.

Permits. Insurance. Contracts. Security. Advertising.

These are some of the bureaucratic and organizational details they have been working on for months with FVRD Parks staff.

Concert goers of all ages will be grooving to “chill-wave,” folk, and alt-rock sounds from bands like Teen Daze and State of Bliss from Chilliwack, We are the City from Kelowna, Oh No! Yoko out of Abbotsford, 41st and Home of Vancouver, Kingdom Cloud also from Kelowna.

It hasn’t been a cake walk, getting all the details ironed out.

“Getting everything ready has been a huge learning process,” Dunning says.

“But it’s going to be kind of cool, whether people know the bands or not, just to be part of a new concert event.”

They’re banking on at least 150 people buying tickets.

And yes, as a matter of fact, they have heard repeatedly from locals about the ill-fated Retrofest, the last major rock concert event held at Island 22 a few years ago. It left the rock concert promoter with a load of debt after only a few hundred tickets sold to see huge-name retro rock acts like Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer.

Dunning is going to approach things slightly differently.

“We’re starting out slowly the first year, and keeping expenses way down,” Dunning says. “And it’s only a one-day show.”

So where did the concert name come from?

Dunning says it was his girlfriend who came up with the slightly hippie-dippie sounding name for the music festival.

“It just seemed to fit the beautiful forested setting at the Island 22,” he says.

Where the Forest Songs Are, Aug. 13 at Island 22 Regional Park

Tickets $20 at http://wheretheforestsongsare.eventbrite.com/

Gates open at 3 p.m. and the show runs until 10 p.m.

 

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