Marin Patenaude (centre) returned to the Cariboo to perform at Dark Times Festival as seen here Saturday at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre with Peggy Lee on cello (left) and Cole Schmidt on guitar (right). Patenaude will be heading back into the recording studio soon for a new album. Monica Lamb-Yorski

Marin Patenaude (centre) returned to the Cariboo to perform at Dark Times Festival as seen here Saturday at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre with Peggy Lee on cello (left) and Cole Schmidt on guitar (right). Patenaude will be heading back into the recording studio soon for a new album. Monica Lamb-Yorski

Dark Times a bright light in the lakecity’s downtown

Performers delight music lovers at multi-venue festival

It was standing room only at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre Friday night where music fans showed their love and appreciation for Drum and Bell Tower’s Brent Morton, who helped kick off the first-ever Dark Times Festival.

The festival, the vision of local musician and producer Brandon Hoffman, was hosted by the Arts on the Fly music festival as a way to beat the winter blues, and also to make up for the fact that last summer’s Arts on the Fly was cancelled due to wildfires.

Friday night, as he gave what was expected to be his last local performance ever as Drum and Bell Tower, Morton apologized for not having any dance music in his mix. No sooner had he said that, did the crowd jump up and gently toss aside their chairs and start dancing, unable to resist the beat of the music.

Anyone who was downtown late Friday or Saturday night could see concert goers walking between the four downtown venues lit with live music; the Central Cariboo Arts Centre, the Limelight, the Bean Counter and the Gecko Tree.

Aside from a few relatively small hiccups, it ran incredibly smoothly, reports Hoffman,noting the festival saw about 50 performers take part and 50 volunteers help out, supported by 260 ticket buyers.

“All the performers stayed with billets in town, and from what I hear everybody was comfy and cozy. It sounds like the billets had a blast as well,” Hoffman said. “The mix of music seemed to keep people happy, which is fortunate considering the ridiculously wide demographic we hit. I loved looking out on the dance floor and seeing everybody from teens to young parents to grandparents, all having a great time. It felt like a family reunion or something.”

If you are sad you missed out on Dark Times, not to worry.

Hoffman said it’s “very likely” he’ll be putting on the popular event again next year.

 

Cole Patenaude performed twice for Dark Times; once Friday evening at the Gecko Tree and a second time Saturday at noon at the Bean Counter. Angie Mindus photo

Cole Patenaude performed twice for Dark Times; once Friday evening at the Gecko Tree and a second time Saturday at noon at the Bean Counter. Angie Mindus photo