Destination Osoyoos confident Desert Live Music Festival is going to be huge success

By on June 18, 2014
Vancouver’s acclaimed blues-rock band No Sinner, featuring powerhouse lead singer Colleen Rennison, will be the headline act the evening of Tuesday, July 1 at the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which kicks off June 27 and runs for five days in Gyro Park. (Photo supplied)

Vancouver’s acclaimed blues-rock band No Sinner, featuring powerhouse lead singer Colleen Rennison, will be the headline act the evening of Tuesday, July 1 at the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which kicks off June 27 and runs for five days in Gyro Park. (Photo supplied)

There’s no reason to believe the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival isn’t going to be a huge success, says the marketing director of Destination Osoyoos.

During a presentation to Osoyoos Rotary Club members last Thursday, Brianne Hearle said all signs indicate there is going to be terrific response for the highly anticipated five-day festival, which kicks off June 27 and continues for five days.

“Judging from the response we have received from the community and on social media, we think the festival is going to be very popular,” said Hearle. “It has really taken off and we’re expecting some really nice crowds.”

The website for Destination Osoyoos has never been busier with more than 15,000 unique visitors going online during the month of May and it’s no coincidence there has been so much traffic on the website with the music festival set to begin in less than 10 days, she said.

Destination Osoyoos, the town’s official tourism promotion agency, has been talking about helping organize a music festival in this community for many years, said Hearle.

However, it took a group of community-minded volunteers to form an organizing committee to turn talk into action, she said.

“This all started with a group of citizens who really wanted to get this thing off the ground,” she said. “Destination Osoyoos had been talking about being involved with a music festival for several years now … and we’re really excited about being involved now that it’s about to happen.”

Everyone involved with the volunteer organizing committee and Destination Osoyoos staff agreed the best way to ensure success in the festival’s first year is to feature Canadian talent and make the festival free of charge and open to everyone, said Hearle.

“The focus will be on Canadian music, including many performers from B.C. and across the Okanagan Valley and several from the Osoyoos and Oliver area,” she said.

The organizing committee also wanted to make the festival “family friendly” and this meant booking bands that appealed to all ages.

The organizing committee is very pleased with the lineup of musical talent booked to perform at Desert Live, she said.

“It’s multi-genre and there’s music to appeal to all ages,” she said.

It’s “very unique” for a first-time festival to be free of charge, but the organizing committee is confident the festival will be able to turn a profit through beer sales and the tremendous support from major sponsors that include the Town of Osoyoos and Eastlink, she said.

Most five-day music festivals in Canada charge a ticket price in the range of close to $100, she said.

Town council voted to provide $45,000 in funding to the inaugural festival, but made it very clear that kind of financial support won’t be permanent and it’s up to the festival to succeed on its own merits.

The hope is for the festival to become independent and be able to attract more major sponsors next year, said Hearle.

The festival still needs more volunteers to work in a variety of positions, including park security, beer garden servers, handing out wristbands and other positions, she said.

Volunteer registration forms are available online by visiting www.desertlive.ca. People can also call Destination Osoyoos at 250-495-5070.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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