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Laketown Rock could become a huge festival in future

Ticket sales and enquiries are leading organizers to look at a growing future for new festival.
The Wild are one of the newly announced bands coming to the Laketown Rock festival. (Submitted)

Could the new Laketown Rock festival become as big as Sunfest? Keep your eyes open.

“We’re anticipating about 4,000 people this year, but from what I understand from the team here, it’s looking like Laketown Rock might even rival Sunfest next year. The kind of response we’ve gotten from the public, and from ticket sales so far, are making this really exciting. It looks like it’s really going to blow up,” Erin Richards, marketing and PR manager for the festival, said.

Camping and all the usual festival amenities are being organized in a similar way to that offered at Sunfest in August, but on a smaller scale for this festival.

“We’ll be using the lower camping space; there are going to be about 900 sites available. And we’ll just be using two of the stages, where during Sunfest we use all three, because that’s obviously a much bigger event,” she said.

Laketown Rock just got more exciting, as organizers announced more groups are coming to the festival, which is hitting Laketown Ranch over the May long weekend.

While it looked like perhaps a classic rock event was planned, it’s grown to be so much more, according to Richards.

The additional groups that have been announced include Glass Tiger, Kenny Shields and Streetheart, The Wild, Band of Rascals and Malahat.

Picking the bands is being done by Greg Adams, owner of Wideglide Entertainment and Laketown Ranch, she said.

“I was talking to him earlier. For him, it’s about his personal favourites: the classic rock he listened to when he was growing up, what his family loves, and then the more modern bands he personally loves, and those that are popular right now that he sees other people are loving. He wants a good cross section of people to come, so he wants to offer a good cross section of bands that everyone will enjoy.

“It’s really important to attract a wide group of people; it doesn’t need to be really youth oriented or boomer oriented. It can be a diverse group coming together and enjoying it together. This is about community building,” she said.

The May long weekend is traditionally the beginning of the camping/summer season at Cowichan Lake, so this will offer even more incentive to drive to the area.

“Greg is really interested now Laketown Ranch is available for other things, raising its profile and letting people know that it’s there for other promoters to use. They can bring in their own concerts as well as expanding the different festivals that he and Wideglide bring in.

“It’s great for Lake Cowichan, but it’s also great for the Cowichan Valley. He hires locally, it’s boosting the economy as people come, even from out of province, to attend these festivals.”