Every summer, there’s a heavenly beach in the Rockies that gets taken over by talent to become the grounds for Invermere MusicFest.
It’s a two-day festival that launches with a high-energy dance party on Friday night, and then on Saturday, a full lineup of fire will steadily intensify the energy levels in the lead up to the headlining act – Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
The festival is only in its fifth year, but already “We’re growing into a festival that the musicians like to come to,” said Jami Scheffer, executive director of the event.
While she was building the lineup, Scheffer said there was a torrent of talent hoping to be part of MusicFest with two to three bands were submitting applications each day.
“We treat our bands well, they have a good time and they reach out to us.” And with such a wide variety of talent to choose from, Scheffer fills the bill with a spectrum of musical artistry.
“It’s about picking a variety of styles and the right genres for the time of day.The challenge of a good festival is how you place the music.And we make sure there’s something for everyone – if you don’t like the music of the moment just wait a little and it’ll change.” But even the most picky listeners will be tuned into the talent pool at MusicFest. And attendees especially don’t want to miss will be the performance of vocalist Dawn Pemberton, whose career has blossomed since her performance at MusicFest 2013 – at the time, she was a member of the three-person choir for blues-rock duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.
“She’s coming as her own band to perform R&B,” said Scheffer. “I remember fondly how great she was.”
The main stage bands all fit into the genres of folk and rock ‘n’ roll, and for the first year, there’s a “chill tent,” where DJs will be playing electronic music both evenings.
“Friday night we’re picking upbeat, danceable music. And then Saturday during the day will be more laid back, with really good creative music. Then it winds up for the evening into another big night of fun.”
Arrowhead Brewing Co.– where Invermere’s local ales are made – will be the beer sponsor, and the Okanagan’s Tinhorn Creek will be pouring the wine.
With their re-entry policy, MusicFest-goers can take a break from the show if they feel like wandering over to the public beaches or going to town for lunch. Planning a long road trip in order to attend MusicFest is justifiable. It’s happening on Aug. 18 and 19, and tickets cost $50 through invermeremusicfest.com or $60 at the gate.“We’re the best fest in the East Kootenays.”