Canadian classic rock legend Burton Cummings will headline the 2014 Sturgis Canada festival for its inaugural event in Merritt.
The concert lineup for the Aug. 21 to 24 weekend also includes The Stampeders, Moxy and Teenage Head.
Festival organizer Ray Sasseville called the lineup a “Canadian classic rock ‘n’ roll revival.”
Woodstock alumni Canned Heat will play their boogie-blues on the main stage, as will English-Canadian glam rocker Nick Gilder with Sweeney Todd. Singer-songwriter Jerry Doucette will play a more laid-back set one afternoon during the festival.
“It’s a really cool, eclectic group of bands we’ve got together,” Sturgis Canada president Joan Hansen said, adding it’s not the usual casino tour crowd.
The main stage opens up at 7 p.m. and the last act is booked for 11 p.m.
In addition to the main stage concerts, the beer gardens — which organizers are calling the Iron Mountain Saloon — will host live entertainment daily on its stage.
That beer garden stage will also host B.C.-based country band Me and Mae on the Sunday night, when organizers will announce the dates and location for a country music festival they’re planning as well.
Hansen and Sasseville said they think Merritt’s location and accessibility from the Lower Mainland will benefit the festival, and are aiming to bring in between 3,500 to 7,500 people per day that weekend.
“It’s like being at a club in North Van and living in Abbotsford,” Sasseville said of the commute from the Lower Mainland to the site for a concert.
Also on the agenda are daily motorcycle rides, including one down to the Coast to go whale watching, and another to tour wineries.
The organizers said riding a motorcycle isn’t a requirement for enjoying the festival.
“You don’t need a motorcycle to come; you can have an RV and come to enjoy four days of great music and still go on the tours,” Sasseville said.
For those who don’t ride motorcycles, buses will also make the day trips.
A portion of the proceeds from the rides will benefit charities, which Hansen will have a local element — although which local charities will be the recipients is to be determined.
The festival will also include show and shines, rodeo games, bike games, burnout competitions at festival grounds, a cabbage patch wrestling match and a Miss Sturgis Canada pageant.
The Freedom Biker Church and the Gospel Riders will host a daily mass at 8 a.m.
With the entertainment lineup rounded out, organizers are looking for volunteers for everything from attending parking to working in the beer gardens.
Hansen said they’re also looking for vendors for everything from food to merchandise.
For more information, visit sturgiscanada.com.