New multi-act concert event geared towards younger crowd

Jesse Roper to headline Wet Coaster in Courtenay

Jesse Roper will headline a multi-act concert at the Native Sons Hall in April.

Jesse Roper will headline a multi-act concert at the Native Sons Hall in April.

Terry Farrell


A young entrepreneur is receiving guidance from a seasoned pro in the area of music promotion.

Local musician Adam Norman is turning his attention from performance to the business side of the industry, and Vancouver Island MusicFest executive producer Doug Cox is offering advice.

Norman is promoting an all-ages concert this spring, The Wet Coaster. It’s a one-day, multi-act event, to take place at Native Sons Hall in Courtenay, April 28.

The event is being supported by Vancouver Island MusicFest Society, through a grant.

“It’s a youth engagement program,” said Norman, of the grant. “Essentially, it’s meant to have the MusicFest team mentor young people on the business side of putting on a music production.”

“It was a grant available through the BC Arts Council,” said Cox. “It’s an attempt to get more young people interested in what we do, and try to pass on some knowledge. That was the whole point behind doing this thing.”

When it comes to local musical festivals, Norman could not have landed a more experienced crew.

Norman said to this point, the majority of the mentorship has been with Cox, but as the event nears, and he needs guidance on other aspects of the event, other members of the MusicFest family will step up.

Cox said the entire MusicFest team is on board with the project.

“As we get closer to the event, we’ve got (production manager) Cresslynn (Fay) helping with the set-up of the venue; (operations manager) Marcy (Jaster) is helping with the ticketing and the promotions; Tiny is helping with the security plan; of course Mike Sutcliffe [and Anne Lawrie] from Sound Advice will be helping with sound. So Adam will put together his own team, and our team will shadow him, and give him advice. We are bringing in the pros, but really, it’s being run by Adam. We are just there to protect what he is doing and hopefully teach him a thing or two.”

“The purpose of the event is to have a musical event created by young people,” said Norman. “The bands are young; they are geared toward a younger crowd, and we are hoping to get young people involved in every aspect of the promotion.”

Jesse Roper, c o s y and Non-Stop Talk are the three bands performing at the event.

Roper, who has two full-length CDs to his name, is gaining more attention every year. He was part of the Pemberton Music Festival lineup in 2016.

Non-Stop Talk was the winner of the 2016 Battle of the Bands in Courtenay.

At 23, this will be Norman’s first crack at producing such an event.

“My background is in music. I play music around town, played shows… and in my work life, I have some business education, so putting the two of them together is kind of a natural thing for me,” he said.

For Cox, the mentorship is an ideal way to strengthen the foundation of music promotion within the Comox Valley.

“For sure, that’s part of it – on a more personal note, I think you just get to the point where you want to pass on some of the knowledge of what you do,” said Cox.

He credits Pender Island songwriter Mae Moore with teaching him the “learn, earn, return” philosophy.

“We were talking about life in general, and she told me she feels like there are three stages in life. You spend one-third of your live learning, you spend one-third of your life earning and one-third of your life returning. I just totally love that. So that’s become part of my philosophy as well.”

Norman said while this came about as a grant-based project, he is hopeful it can develop into an annual event

“The hope is that we continue it on,” he said. “Just the lack of being able to see live music (in an all-ages atmosphere)… most of the time, if you want to catch a band coming to town… a lot of times it’s in the bars. So kids can’t go, But music is such a big part of our community, it’s great for every body to be able to join in on it.”

Cox said from his standpoint, he couldn’t have selected a more appropriate person to work with.

“Adam is amazing, I am really impressed with him. Who knows what he will do in regards to carrying on, and what he will do with the knowledge he gains from this.

Advance tickets ($20) for the event are on sale at Bop City Records, or online at

Norman is still looking for volunteers to help out with the event, and while he won’t turn away any offered help, in staying true the concept, he’d particularly like to hear from younger people interested in lending a hand.

Anyone interested in learning more about The Wet Coaster and how they can help can reach Norman at


Comox Valley Record

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