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Arts on the Fly Festival looks forward to sold-out event for Horsefly

This weekend, Arts on the Fly returns to the Cariboo for the first time since 2019
Horsefly musician Jason Romero and poet Bruce Rolph on the main outdoor stage during Arts on the Fly in 2019. (Monica Lamb-Yorsk file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Arts on the Fly Festival is set to return to the stage, and tickets are already sold out.

After three long years of absence, the festival is returning, with a one-day event on July 22 and focussing on helping highlight local acts who haven’t been able to perform much in recent years.

“We thought it would help us and them,” explained Jenny Noble, vice president of the Arts on the Fly Festival Society.

Noble said the board members this year are mostly new to their roles and it has been a lot to learn, but they are a good team and things are going great as they count down the final days until the festival.

She said they wanted to build back up slowly, which is why they are starting with a one-day festival.

The opening ceremonies will take place at 11 a.m. and the music will go all day on two stages until 12:30 a.m. the next morning.

“It’s a very full day.”

There will be a Solar Stage down by the river, and there will be a main stage in the community hall.

Free camping will be next to the Solar Stage and no dogs and no fires will be allowed.

A kids zone will have activities for younger festival-goers including some hosted by Scout Island Nature Centre.

There will be a beer garden in the hall as well as one outside down by the Solar Stage.

First Aid and security will be on site at all times.

There will be three food vendors: Fabiola’s Mexican Food, Little Fennel Cup and Epic Eatery, as well as the Little Cariboo Cafe for coffee. Food vendors will also be accessible for those not attending the festival.

“We’re ready.”

While she said they do hope to build back up, she isn’t sure they will ever go back up to the 1,100 patrons they had in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

“We want to continue to focus on local performers,” she said, but added they will bring in outside acts in the future, just perhaps not as many.

Noble said there isn’t a bad act in the lineup so she knows there will be something for everybody to enjoy.

In case of smoke, they will have N95 masks available for people to use.

She asked for visitors to Horsefly to be considerate of local traffic and to recognize the large influx of people is a lot for such a small town, so be respectful.

“In the meantime, we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Noble said for those still looking for tickets, while all volunteer roles have been filled and tickets are sold out, there were some posts on the Arts on the Fly Facebook Page of people who weren’t going to be able to use their tickets so people might be able to find a few tickets on there.

READ MORE: Arts on the Fly cancelled, to try again next year

READ MORE: Arts on the Fly’s new direction reaps success

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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