Scene and Heard: Reischman headlines Sooke festival

Bluegrass fans will have an opportunity to celebrate Father’s Day in fine style at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival, which enters its 14th year of operation on Friday.

The event will be headlined by Juno-nominated, Grammy-winning artist John Reischman, a mandolin master from Vancouver. He will appear at the event not with his usual band, the Jaybirds, but the newly assembled combo the Pine Siskins.

article continues below

“He’s got such a history in this genre,” festival producer Phil Shaver said. “We wanted something different, so he put something together for us.”

Other acts scheduled to appear include Tom Terrell, Twin Bandit, Wellesley Station, Garrett Tompson Band, Sarah Jane Scouten, the Clover Point Drifters and the Riverside Bluegrass Band.

The festival runs Friday through Sunday at the Sooke River Campground.

A big part of the festival’s appeal is on-site camping, but those who have not yet made arrangements will want to do so sooner rather than later, Shaver said. Some spots are still available, but they’re going fast.

Another appealing aspect of the event is the Slow Pitch Jam, which gives amateur musicians an opportunity to play. Saturday night festivities include the Big Top Square Dance, with an old-time stringband caller, Craig Marcuk, running square-dance lessons.

The festival is an annual highlight for residents of the Sooke community, Shaver said. “We’re doing really well — ticket sales are better than ever. Everybody in Sooke is for this event.”

Weekend passes are $50 at Larsen Music and Single-day tickets are $20 (Friday), $30 (Saturday) and $10 (Sunday).

Prices do not include camping fees. To register your spot, visit or phone 250-642-6076.

More information on the festival can be found at

Music fans will barely have time to recover from the four-day Rifflandia festival when the one-woman wrecking crew that is Peaches makes her Victoria debut at Sugar on Sept. 29.

Peaches — the stage name of out-there Toronto artist Merrill Nisker — is known for a pioneering and radical form of electro-rock that makes low-brow-humour performance art of the highest order. We’d like to explain further, but much of her output, from song titles to album names and artwork, falls well outside the realm of what can be reprinted here.

Suffice to say, the show will be a smash success. Act now, because this will sell out soon.

Tickets are $32.50 at Lyle’s Place and


Here’s why readers of this column should heed our advice about procuring tickets: The second Sixto Rodriguez show at the Royal Theatre, which we guaranteed would hit capacity shortly after being announced, is now sold out.

The adored performer, whose life story was told via the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, will make his Victoria debut with shows Aug. 26-27 at the Royal Theatre.

Secondary-market tickets will cost a pretty penny, but they can be had. A safer route is to follow the social-media channels of Atomique Productions, which is producing the event, for news of last-minute tickets.

For more information, visit


One of the best Canadian albums of the modern era will get the full treatment at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall this year.

Everything I Long For, the acclaimed 1995 debut from Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden, will be performed in its entirety Oct. 5 at the site of the former church, which will give a pastoral quality to the set. Not that Hayden needs help in that regard: Everything I Long For, the most acclaimed and best-selling album of Hayden’s long career, comes alive in new ways with each listen. The artist is said to be performing the “Canadian version” of the album on this tour, signifying his set will include the song Bunkbed, which was omitted from U.S. versions of the album.

Tickets are $24.50 at Lyle’s Place and


The high-flying Shanghai Acrobats, a company founded in 1959, will bring fantasy and wonder to the Farquhar Auditorium stage with two productions of Shanghai Nights — Dream Journey in September.

Forty of China’s top acrobats will showcase hoop diving, foot juggling and plate spinning, among other skills.

The acrobats from China will perform Sept. 3-4 on the University of Victoria campus.

Tickets are $36 for general admission and $26 for students. Children’s admission is $16, while family packs are $100. All tickets are available in person at the UVic Ticket Centre, by phone at 250-721-8480 or online through


Fort McMurray rockers Sentimental Gentlemen are on the road raising awareness about the fires that have ravaged their hometown.

The band’s massive Canadian tour, which got underway May 12 in Montreal, comes to a close June 30 in Athabasca, Alta.

The band will make an appearance June 14 in Victoria at the Copper Owl, alongside Victoria acts This Day Burns and Anchorage.

Sentimental Gentlemen are crossing Canada in support of their latest album, The Devil’s in the Details, while raising awareness and funds for relief efforts being undertaken by the Canadian Red Cross.

Tickets are $8 at the door.

Copper Owl is located at 1900 Douglas St., next door to Paul’s Motor Inn.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist

Most Popular