The dust has settled from Sunfest and just in time for another music festival to make its debut at Laketown Ranch — likely drawing a different community of attendees than the country music extravaganza.
This weekend the Legends Valley Music Festival, which runs from Aug. 26 to 28, launches its very first season, boasting an impressive lineup of artists across multiple musical genres. Sublime with Rome, Bif Naked, The Sheepdogs, Five Alarm Funk, and Daniel Wesley are just some of the big names that will take to the main stage. On the Roachella Stage — this festival’s equivalent of Sunfest’s Saloon Stage — will be Buckman Coe, The Librarian and Mat the Alien to name just a few.
The festival has generated some added buzz around the Valley because it will also be hosting the first-ever BioCup Canada event, an international cannabis competition and expo started in Spain two years ago.
“The music festival is really, first and foremost, the feature draw,” said spokesman John Donnelly from John Donnelly & Associates, which produces large scale music events.
Donnelly’s company was approached by the BioCup organizers and asked to create a festival to go with their medicinal marijuana competition and expo.
“The idea was to try and create a lineup that worked for the cannabis community. It’s a new industry and it’s growing and… we’re right on the edge of it being legalized,” he said.
“What we wanted to do was build a fun music event that had different varieties of music at it. So rock, punk, a bit of hip hop, some modern rock; have a nice mix that appeals to a wide crowd that’s 420-friendly.”
Despite the perceived legal grey area marijuana occupies in a province like B.C., where large public pot celebrations are held openly every April 20 and where an increasing number of dispensaries are popping up, Donnelly said the event seeks to “live within the existing regulations of the existing cannabis industry.”
That means there will be no sanctioned marijuana sales at the event. It also means participants in the expo and competition must have prescriptions allowing them to legally possess the amounts they have with them.
Donnelly described the BioCup as a chance for the medical cannabis industry to “get together as a community and create an educational platform where people can find out where is legalization going, to meet the geneticists from the companies and people behind the scenes.”
Any festival attendees who rely on cannabis for medicinal reasons and have a prescription to use it must bring their own supply. Donnelly said there will be designated smoking areas where medicinal users can go.
“We don’t want to cross any lines,” said Donnelly. “We just want to create an opportunity where people can talk, where there will be speakers, educational platforms and where they can celebrate music.”
Legends Valley Music Festival will host more than 50 vendors selling food, artwork and cannabis-related products, and is going to have a pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
There will also be glass-blowing displays during the day, before the music gets underway.
The festival is for people 19 and older.
Organizers do not anticipate crowds nearly the size of Sunfest’s. However, like Sunfest and other large music events, there will be on-site security, RCMP presence and fire watch.
Most music festivals have an identity or a target demographic, they hope to attract and Donnelly described theirs as “this modern culture that is more hippie, laid bad, mellow, relaxed,” adding they want to be welcoming to everyone, whether or not they’re interested in cannabis culture.
“We’re looking for people who are friendly and enjoy music,” he said.