Salt Spring’s PitchFork Social announces lineup for this year’s shows

Organizers of the popular Salt Spring Island music series PitchFork Social have announced their upcoming season of live music events, which includes appearances from celebrated roots acts Justin Townes Earle, Greg Brown, Slaid Cleaves and Mandolin Orange.

The series, which takes place in a concert hall inside a purpose-built barn on Bullock Lake Farm, has 10 shows on tap from April through September. The PitchFork Social offers farm-to-table food served in a country setting, with music in a barn capable of seating between 240 and 300 fans.

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The series gets underway April 26 with the Black Hen Roadshow, featuring Steve Dawson, Steve Marriner, Leeroy Stagger and Ndidi Onukwulu. In addition to the aforementioned Earle (May 6), Cleaves (June 16), Mandolin Orange (July 23) and Brown (Aug. 24) performances are concerts by Pharis and Jason Romero (May 12), Eilen Jewell (June 25), Three Women and the Truth (July 11) and Darlingside (July 16),

The series comes to a close with a performance by Screaming Cheetah Wheelies singer Mike Farris on Sept. 20.

The eighth annual event, now in its fourth year at the farm, is hugely popular with audiences from the area and abroad. In previous years, the event drew big names such as Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention, Hayes Carll, Kelly Joe Phelps, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Cowboy Junkies, among others. Given the profile of the artists booked to appear, each instalment in the series sells out, according to producer David Youngson.

Fans have responded warmly to the big-band small-venue philosophy.

“We’re not even attempting to make money,” he said. “We’re attempting to not lose money. If I didn’t sell out, I would lose money. But the way I price it is based on selling out.”

Season tickets with reserved seating — which are expected to disappear quickly — are available now for $365 but will only be on sale until Saturday at 10 p.m.

Once that window closes, tickets to individual shows will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sunday through the festival’s website, or

Pre-show dinners by chef Julian Obererlacher are offered but not included in the ticket price.

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