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Critic's picks: Victoria Drum Fest; The Choirs YYJ; Drew Lynch

Arts writer Mike Devlin picks his favourite upcoming events, including Victoria Drum Fest at the Songhees Wellness Centre on Sunday, May 26.
Cody Ash, drummer for Jelly Roll, will perform during Victoria Drum Fest at the Songhees Wellness Centre on Sunday, May 26. HANDOUT


Where: Songhees Wellness Centre, 1100 Admirals Rd.
When: Sunday, May 26, 12 p.m. (doors at 11:30 a.m.)
Tickets: $40 from Groove Studios, Long & McQuade (Victoria and Langford locations), and Tom Lee Music; $50 at the door

Why: Groove Studios produces this longtime festival, which has been the go-to event for drummers and percussionists on the Island since 2012. And the upcoming edition boasts another starry line-up, featuring Toronto session drummer/YouTuber Rob Brown, Sepultura drummer Greyson Nekrutman, Kentucky-bred Cody Ash (drummer for Jelly Roll), prog rock specialist Nathan Bulla (of Ontario’s Intervals), and New York-based sessions drummer Giulliana Merello.


Where: Farquhar Auditorium, 3800 Ring Rd. (University of Victoria)
When: Saturday, May 25, 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7)
Tickets: $23.50 from the UVic Ticket Centre (250-721-8480) or

Why: You’ll find The Choirs YYJ performing each day at Rifflandia in September, but there is a spring concert on tap for those who don’t want to wait.

The local choir (which is led by Marc Jenkins) sings original arrangements of pop, folk and indie music favourites, and the upcoming programs includes favourites from Indigo Girls, Sarah Harmer, The Cure, The Black Pumas and more. Size-wise, Jenkins leads a multitude of lineups — including The Choir, The Chorus, Sound Dragon and The Mini-Choir — all of which offer plenty of singalong opportunities.


Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq., Victoria
When: Friday, May 24, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $44.75-$73.50 from the from the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or

Why: Lynch came to the fore in 2015, when the Indiana comic wowed the judges on America’s Got Talent.

The comedian and YouTuber placed second, behind British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, and his career has crested nicely in the years since.

His debut comedy special, 2021’s Concussed, included jokes about Lynch’s traumatic brain injury, which occurred during a softball game, but his humour has grown into a finely tuned treatise on the foibles of life in the modern era.

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