Fun was in abundance at the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival on Saturday.
Despite the hot sun, people young and old crowded into Deer Lake Park to take in the 12 rocking artists from all over North America, including Canadian headliners Blue Rodeo.
The show kicked off at 1 p.m. -- one hour earlier than previous years to accommodate the additional musicians. By the time Shakura S'Aida took to the main stage, the lawn was packed with thousands of people.
Toronto-based S'Aida was the third act on the main stage at the festival, following David Gogo and Ndidi Onukwulu.
This year, organizers staggered the main stage performances with two smaller stages - the Westwood and Garden stages.
Bands including Brickhouse, Vince Vaccaro and Jon and Roy played on the smaller stages, but that doesn't mean they weren't as popular as the main stage acts.
During the Jon and Roy concert, hundreds of people packed into the small space around the Westwood stage to hear the Victora-based band play.
It was a similar situation over at the Garden stage, when Vince Viccaro performed.
People crowded around the stage, some dancing, others just lounging in the sun listening to him play.
In an earlier interview with the NOW, long-time volunteer Jim McQueen said the Blues and Roots Festival is a festival for music lovers - and this certainly rang true on Saturday.
Charlene Araki and Randy Gustason from Maple Ridge made the trek to Burnaby to check out their very first Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, and while they were there to see headliners Blue Rodeo, they said the other musicians they saw impressed them.
"It's a good venue, good music," Araki added.
Charles Bradley - the Screaming Eagle of Soul - was especially impressive, Araki said.
The 64-year-old soul singer wowed crowds with his lively performance. Spectators waited anxiously for Bradley and when he emerged - in a bright purple body suit adorned with glitter (think Elvis' Las Vegas years) - both fans and non-fans weren't let down.
Bradley swooped, dipped, danced and screamed on stage for more than an hour, and when it came time to say goodbye he jumped down from the stage to give folks in the dance pit hugs, kisses and well-wishes before leaving.
Finally it was time for Blue Rodeo.
After about a 15-minute delay, the headliners took to the stage much to the delight of fans, including Burnaby resident Barb Brunton.
Brunton said she was really excited to see the Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees.
And when Blue Rodeo got on stage, they rocked hard, playing fan favourites as well as new songs from their upcoming album.
They even came back for three encores, playing past the usual 10 p.m. curfew.
While some people left around 9 p.m., most people stayed until the bitter end, especially when Blue Rodeo came back for a three-song encore, which included Lost Together, Five Days in May and Till I Am Myself Again.
Kids rock out at blues festival But the fun wasn't just for the adults.
Kids were having a great time too, building cardboard guitars over at the kids' area.
Little rockers had several guitar designs to choose from, everything from wicked, sleek KISSinspired guitars to classic Elvis acoustics.
Once kids chose the guitar they wanted, they could decorate them using glitter, paint and ribbons.
Brenda Carruthers brought her daughter, Ceilidh - who was rocking a fairy-esque guitar - and Ceilidh's friend Tania to the festival.
This is the second year in a row Carruthers has brought her daughter to the event and she said it's a great bargain, especially when kids under 12 get in for free.
"It's great for kids," she said.
Jason Lang, Burnaby Now / Festival fun: From left, Maya Musovic, Mersiha Musovic, Chrissy Okawara and Ty Okawara have their picture taken at the Burnaby NOW photobooth during the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival at Deer Lake Park on Aug. 10.;
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