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Big music acts should help Rock the Shores set attendance record

The Rock the Shores music festival in Colwood is expected to break attendance records this summer following news that headliners Billy Talent, Our Lady Peace, and The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie are playing the three-day event.
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Gord Downie is among the acts announced for the 2014 version of Rock the Shores, expected to be the biggest in the event's three-year history.

The Rock the Shores music festival in Colwood is expected to break attendance records this summer following news that headliners Billy Talent, Our Lady Peace, and The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie are playing the three-day event.

Rock the Shores is scheduled for July 11-13 at the Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre’s lower fields, home to the festival’s previous two soldout editions. Producer Nick Blasko of Atomique Productions said an expanded three-day run in the third year will likely bring upwards of 35,000 people to the site, making it the biggest three-day concert total in Greater Victoria history.

“We’ve put the capacity back up to 12,500 day,” Blasko said. “But crowding won’t be an issue. We’ll be laying out the site so that we utilize the fields a little better.”

Twenty-four artists will appear over the three days, twice the number of last year. Other acts announced today include The Wallflowers, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Loverboy, 54-40, Sloan, Current Swell, Monster Truck, Kongos, The Sadies, July Talk, The Bright Light Social Hour, The Dudes, Daniel Wesley, The Stanfields, Northcote, Flash Lightnin’ and the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.

More bands will be announced in coming weeks, Blasko said. “We’re not done. We’re happy with where it’s at now, so we thought now was the time to make some noise. People are making their summer plans, so we’ve been working on this every day. We haven’t been sitting on our thumbs.”

The inaugural one-day edition of the event set a Greater Victoria attendance record when an audience of 10,500 paid to see sets by the Tragically Hip and Sam Roberts, among others, in 2012. The festival expanded to two days in 2013, drawing a combined audience of 25,000 revellers — another record — to watch City and Colour, Weezer, Matthew Good, AWOLNATION and the Sheepdogs.

Blasko said he does not expect Rock the Shores to add more days. “I think we’re going to stop at three days. No way are we going for four days.”

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at rocktheshores.frontgatetickets.com. They are also available at the Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre (1767 Island Highway, 250-478-8384) and Lyle’s Place (770 Yates St., 250-382-8422).

A three-day festival pass (general admission) is $129.50, plus service charges. VIP passes are $279.50, plus service charges.

Single-day tickets will be available once the final event schedule is announced.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

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