Sam Tudor plays a packed house at Central Cariboo Arts Centre as part of the Safety Meeting series last year. Kent Bernadet photo

Dark Times a bright light for community music

Music festival to take place March 2 to 4

It’s Dark Times. A phrase familiar to some, the sentiment is significant following a summer of fires that the Cariboo faced.

However, the Dark Times music festival is set to provide an antidote to the idea of #CaribooStrong — “Speaking with friends, it sounds like there are quite a few feelings of anxiety lingering the community post-wildfires. It felt great to dive back into a regular work routine, but there’s also something to be said for cutting loose, dropping the strong face and letting your weird self run free every now and then,” says organizer Brandon Hoffman.

The three-day, three-venue music festival is taking place March 2 to 3 in the downtown of Williams Lake.

After Arts on the Fly had to be cancelled during the wildfires, Hoffman decided it was time to mix up the music scene in Williams Lake.

“A few years ago when they first did the Winter Lights Festival and a bunch of businesses were open late in the evening when it was winter and snowy, it was just such a nice atmosphere to be downtown with the Christmas lights in the trees andexperience your own town from this new angle,” he says. “I’m trying to get that sort of feeling again.”

Performers will be spreading music and poetry at three venues: The Central Cariboo Arts Centre, the Limelight and the Bean Counter. Each venue will feature its own sound.

“All the venues are nice and close, so if you are feeling a little like something a little bit quieter, like some nice folksy harmonies, you can wander up to the Arts Centre; if you want to go dance for a while you can go down to the Limelight; if you feel like cup of chai to warm up you can go over to the Bean Counter,” says Hoffman. All venues will be licensed and all ages.

The musical roster for Dark Times covers everything from soulful acoustic folk to bombastic electronic beats. Artists include Parlour Panther, Uschi Tala, Jasper Sloan Yip, Lydia Hol, Leathan Milne, Firewood Poetry, Malcolm Jack, Marin Patenaude, Sam Tudor, Sonya Littlejohn, Cole Patenaude, Drum and Bell Tower, Blocktreat, Dirtnap, Rowan Dolighan, One Below, Hattie Ann, M. Lund, Psykababa, and many more.

Hoffman is still on the lookout for volunteers, and particularly for billets for musicians.

Because of the size of the venues, Hoffman says tickets are limited.

They’re available to purchase online at www.artsonthefly.com/darktimes.

For the weekend an adult ticket is $50, while youth and seniors are $40. Day passes for adults are $40, while youth and senior passes are $35.

“I’m stoked about how everything is clicking together,” says Hoffman, adding that Dark Times is proudly supported by the Downtown Williams Lake BIA and Carboo GM.

For more information, or to volunteer, email Hoffman at info@artsonthefly.com

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