Plans are taking shape for this year’s rendition of the Central Music Festival, slated to run Aug. 16-18. Excitement is building for the event, which is described as a family-friendly weekend showcasing a top-notch array of musical artistry.
This summer will mark the Festival’s seventh year, said Mike Bradford, president of the Central Music Festival Society.
Genres at the event run the gamut from rock to blues to country to inspirational, with this year’s acts including Randi Boulton, Bill Bourne and Devon Coyote just to name a few on the Friday evening; Tacoy Ryde, Captain Tractor, The Mighty Popo and Leeroy Stagger among others on Saturday and the Amos Garrett Trio, Myrol, and Dick Damron & Stoney Creek set to his the stage on Sunday with others set to perform as well.
“This year we are 100 per cent Canadian,” said Bradford about the line-up of 26 performers. “Our mandate has always been to provide a stage for local and regional performers and we are fulfilling that.”
The event will also include free camping, various food and artist vendors, a Kids’ Corner and a shuttle service running back and forth from the Red Deer Lodge through the weekend. “We’re making it as easy as we can for people to access the site.”
Bradford said folks can also now make all of their ticket purchases online through a new system called Ticketbud. “We’re very excited about this system. We’ve tested it a couple of times and it works very well.”
As for location, the event takes place in a natural outdoor amphitheatre located minutes north of the City – attendees can head north on Taylor Dr., cross Hwy. 11A and continue on the C&E Trail. Continue onto Township Rd. 392, turn left and the site is located just up the road.
“It’s a wonderful venue. Every festival has its niche in the market, or its own unique quality. Ours is the site – it’s second to none in that it’s an amphitheatre and there are no restrictions on sight lines.”
There is one stage, but the music is non-stop and Bradford said a lot of people appreciate the fact that they don’t have to choose one stage over another, which is typical of course with the bigger festivals. “It’s good value for your money, when you factor in the free camping, free parking and the free shuttle. It’s hard to beat with the early bird prices as well.”
Bradford is hoping for bigger crowds this year also. “We need to be averaging about 1,000 a day which would allow us as a Society to do more things in the community outside of the Festival, too.” That would include more educational connections with high schools and local colleges, plus running workshops for aspiring musicians both in performance and business aspects of the industry.
Meanwhile, there are opportunities for community agencies to set up information booths onsite as well, he said.
There are also opportunities for Festival sponsorship involvement and for plenty of volunteer help as well. For complete information on weekend prices, sponsorship opportunities or a variety of ways to volunteer, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.