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Expect to see some changes at the blues fest

Not even the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival can withstand the sands of time.
blues fest
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people attended last year’s Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival at Deer Lake Park. Lyrica Lawrence, left, and Patrick McCaffergy from Vancouver Blues and Fusion Dance at the 2016 festival.

Not even the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival can withstand the sands of time.

The 18th edition of the festival hits Deer Lake Park on Saturday, and while there will be a lot about the festival that visitors recognize, this year, organizers have made one very visible change – they’ve reduced the number of stages from three to two.


“It’s a response to some comments from our patrons,” said Shadbolt marketing and sponsorship coordinator Jared Bowles.

For the past four years, the festival has featured musicians on three stages – the Main Stage, the Garden Stage and the Westwood Stage. The acts on the Westwood and Garden stages appeared simultaneously, so folks would have to choose between the two (or maybe just watch a bit of both).

Guests were finding it a challenge to move back and forth between the two stages, Bowles said.

“They wanted to hear both, so we just thought we’d go back to the way we used to do things, where we (only) had two stages,” he added.

“That way everybody on site is going to be able to experience all nine of the amazing artists that we have throughout the day.”

While this reduces the number of acts from 12 to nine, Bowles said it should make a lot of people happy.

This year’s lineup includes Little Miss Higgins, Jesse Waldman and Kaya Kurz on the Garden Stage starting at 1:45 p.m., and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Matt Andersen, Sue Foley, Leeroy Stagger, Jesse Roper and Murray Porter on the Main Stage starting at 1:05 p.m. The acts will alternate on the two stages, so everyone has a chance to check out all the musicians.

“We were lucky enough to find nine fantastic artists; some from the local region and some from away that are going to be here and put on an amazing show,” Bowles said.

In past years, there have been conflicts with other music festivals around North America, but Bowles said that really isn’t the case this year. Instead, their main competition comes from smaller community events and festivals in the region.

“Summer in Vancouver is such an amazing time, especially early August, that everybody wants to be outside and every weekend you can look in the paper and find five or six events, and we’re just another one of those on the list of things to do, but we think we’re the best,” he said. “And definitely the best value for your buck.”

If you haven’t got your tickets yet, there’s still time to get the advanced ticket price. Single tickets are selling for $65 each or four for $220. Single tickets will cost $80 at the gate.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to

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