One of Laketown Ranch’s summer hits, the music festival that attracted cannabis enthusiasts and growers alike, is growing itself due to popular demand.
The Legends Valley Music Festival will return to Lake Cowichan next year, expanding from a three-day event to five days.
“It was just such a positive experience last year and also, it just seemed like the three days wasn’t quite long enough,” said Matt Harvey, the executive producer of next year’s festival. “Everybody was having so much fun nobody wanted to leave on the Monday. We had such a successful expo we thought it would be great for our vendors.”
That expo is the BioCup Canada, an international cannabis competition and expo that started two years ago in Spain and made its Canadian debut here at the lake in August. The BioCup is a venue for businesses and experts from the medical cannabis industry to share information about products, services and legalization. It’s also a chance to meet geneticists from the growing companies and some of the other people working behind the scenes.
Growers from across Canada and the world have a chance to compete in the BioCup to see who has the best marijuana products.
There are also artists and merchandise vendors at the expo.
Harvey characterized the inaugural event as a success, calling it groundbreaking and praising the many performers such as The Sheep Dogs, Bif Naked, The Forgotten Rebels and Sublime with Rome. Harvey said there were approximately 11,000 people in attendance over the three-day festival.
This fall he attended the Karma Cup, a similar event in Toronto, where he saw banners referring to the BioCup champions.
“Everybody was talking about it, even in Ontario,” Harvey said.
In addition to next year’s extended schedule — which will run from Wednesday, Aug. 23 to Monday, Aug. 28 — there are some other changes in the works.
They will have a full zipline, an adult jumping trampoline, a kid zone and a water slide. Harvey said they are also going to reposition one of the stages to reduce the impact of sound on people living in the area.
“The smaller stage, which we called Roachella last year, is going to be turned around because when [DJ] Matt the Alien came on, they were really bass heavy, and [the stage] was pointed west and now it’s going to be pointed east so the noise won’t be an issue,” said Harvey.
Another change: the music festival portion of Legends Valley is not going to be organized by the Vancouver-based events company Donnelly & Associates.
“We just decided to go our separate ways,” said Harvey, adding that he is “fortunate enough to use the [Wideglide Entertainment] team” in the organization of next year’s music festival.
Wideglide Entertainment is the parent company responsible for events like Sunfest Country Music Festival, which is a completely distinct and separate entity from Legends Valley or any other activity hosted at Laketown Ranch.
Harvey admitted there were some issues this year related to where people were permitted to smoke and drink. There was no drinking permitted at the expo, and Harvey said this created some confusion amongst people who had been to Sunfest, which had different rules about where patrons could and could not drink.
Emmalee Brunt, marketing and PR manager for Wideglide Entertainment, confirmed that the company will be part of organizing the Legends Valley music festival, however, because the change in organization is still relatively new, at this time she can’t confirm just what their level of involvement will be.
Harvey said he believes an extended Legends Valley can only mean good things for businesses in Lake Cowichan.
“I think it was really good for business. I remember we went for breakfast and they had run out of eggs,” he said. “So we will definitely be bringing lots of good vibes and good commerce up to the Valley again this year, that’s for sure.”