The Vancouver Island Tribute Festival is bringing even more of your favourite musical stars to Parksville.
Twenty-four artists will perform solo and in groups at the Parksville Conference and Community Centre between May 22-24, said organizer Sharon Schienbein. That’s 10 more performers than last year.
“We were thrilled with that,” said Schienbein. “They want to perform.”
This year’s tributes will include Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Alan Jackson, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, ABBA and Rod Stewart. There will also be a new internationally based show dedicated to the Beatles.
While many of the performers are coming to the festival for the first time, seven of them are returning from last year, said Schienbein. Two such artists are Victoria’s Darla Cooper and Candy Little, who will once again perform as The Judds.
“We’re looking forward to that warm Parksville welcome,” said Little, who added that the active local audience is one of the best they’ve performed for.
“We had so much fun last year,” said Cooper.
Like the rest of the artists, Little and Cooper are performing at the festival free of charge. That’s because the non-profit event will be a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Little.
Last year, the festival raised $5,400 for the society, said Schienbein.
Both Schienbein and fellow organizer Sherry Judson said last year’s inaugural Tribute Festival was a greater success than they expected. In many cases, more people showed up than there were chairs set up, they said. In all, around 700 tickets were sold.
This year, Schienbein said they’re preparing to run at capacity.
Many audience members let it be known that they were coming back with friends, said Schienbein.
There are five shows in the festival this year, all of which take place at the PCCC.
The shows on Friday and Saturday nights both start at 7 p.m. and will feature a range of artists and tickets cost $40.
The shorter Saturday afternoon show, which also features a broad selection of tributes, will cost $35 and start at 1:30 p.m.
There will also be two genre specific shows: a country show on Saturday at 4 p.m. and a gospel show on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Both shows will cost $20 each.
A weekend pass, which costs $99, allows for admission to all five shows.
Tickets are available at the PCCC, Cranky Dog Music and through Forest Bus Tours.
At the events, Judson said there will be vendors, merchandise tables, a concession. There will also be a cash bar at all shows except for the Sunday morning gospel event.
There will also be an unofficial public “tour” of the stars in vintage cars on Saturday morning, said the organizers. The caravan, which will move slowly but can’t hold up traffic since it is not an official parade, will start off from the Quality Resort Bayside at 11 a.m. It will then drive along the inland highway to Qualicum Beach and on to Coombs. The tour will stop at the Coombs Emporium (the plaza with the giant statues beside the Market) around noon for a 10-15 minute photo-op before heading to the PCCC.
For more information on the festival, including a full list of sponsors, visit islandtributefestival.com or call Schienbein at 250-586-0626 and Judson at 250-248-4525.
You can also contact Schienbein or Judson if you are interested in volunteering to help run the concession or be the official videographer of the event.