Two stages added for bike rally acts
Along with the slew of thundering motorbikes expected to rumble into the Nicola Valley for the Great Canadian Bike Rally from Thursday to Sunday will be a lineup of entertainment that could rival the acts of Mountainfest.
Entertainment Co-ordinator Stuart Emslie said many of the scheduled bands treat the bike rally as a reunion.
“It’s such a great mix of B.C. musicians that know each other and they really had a great time with it last year and are looking forward to much of the same this year,” he said. “They love the cause, they love the idea of what the organizers of the bike rally are trying to build.”
Approximately 30 bands are scheduled to perform, including several that were rained out last year.
The weather caused organizers to replace a soundboard valued at approximately $250,000.
“This year is bigger crews, more production, more people, more backline, more everything,” Emslie said. “There are some exciting additions this year.”
A new feature includes three cameras on the main stage, with one from the drum kit facing the audience. The image will be projected on a massive screen.
Burnout demonstrations are also planned during the main stage show in the City Furniture parking lot.
Two stages are added this year, one at Spirit Square on Granite Avenue and the other at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Mamette Avenue.
Jam areas for anyone attending are also near Spirit Square.
The square will also feature John Lee Sanders on Sunday.
“This guy has played with Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters; he’s played with some of the biggest names in the business,” Emslie said. “He toured 11 years with Long John Baldry.
“That’s going to be my highlight of the week, I think. I’m really looking forward to that particular show.”
Tony Robertson and Hogwash are hosting an all-star jam at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena during the After Party on Friday night.
“It’s going to turn into a wonderful, incredible musical soup,” Emslie said. “And then on Saturday we have my favourite party band.”
Brickhouse is hosting the Saturday night all-star jam with John Lee Sanders and Steve Kozak.
Approximately 5,000 people attended the bike rally last year and organizers said they wouldn’t be surprised at a 15,000 attendance this year.
“It’s a great event and quite well organized,” Emslie said. “These guys put a year into [planning]. It’s a bike rally first, that also offers some great entertainment.”
He said the rally is key to the event’s success because prices can stay low and the rally becomes more family oriented.
Thursday’s lineup includes Harlequin, Wild T and the Spirit, David Gogo, Arsen Shomakov, March Hare and others.
The Friday lineup includes Streetheart, Henry Small, Brickhouse, Cannery Row, Hogwash, Shotgun Messengers and more.
Saturday features Jerry Ducette, John Lee Sanders, Stever Kozak and the West Coast All Stars, Joanni Bye and the Homewreckers and more.
Other bands throughout the weekend include Fowl Mouth Mcphee, Darryl Weyman and his Johnny Cash Tribute and the ultimate Deep Purple Tribute, Highway Star.
Blues Brothers Too will stop at random locations and start singing.
A three-night concert pass costs $100 or pay $40 for one night. A combination of the events and tickets pass for four days costs $190. A ticket for each night of the After Party costs $20.
The weather should cooperate with the shows, as Environment Canada forecasts Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all clear with temperatures in the low 30 C. The normal temperature for this time of year is 26 C.
A four-page schedule of events is available at www.greatcanadianbikerally.com.