Tegan Wahlgren, of Wallgrin, is one of the performers new to the Dark Times festival line-up to be held in Williams Lake March 2-4. Festival organizer Brandon Hoffman describes her as a “super potent” performer. Submitted photo.

Soothe the winter blues at Dark Times

Lakecity festival adds new bands thanks to funding from 2018 Junos

As days get incrementally longer and lakecity locals are looking towards the brighter days of spring, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Dark Times music festival organizers are readying to celebrate the end of the dark nights of winter and pull us out of the winter blues, or, as organizers suggest, “relish in the possibility that the end is nigh.”

The three day event, put on by Arts on the Fly, is set to hit the puddle March 2-4 in a multiple venue, multiple band, multiple genre festival — a first for the lakecity.

In recent weeks the festival has expanded to a fourth venue, adding the Gecko Tree as the festivals “Juno Stage” and added three acts to the lineup.

Dark Times is a recipient of the 2018 Music Experience Program funding, and will with the 2018 Juno Awards Host Committee, Creative BC and Music BC as an event shining a spotlight on local music scenes in B.C. A tota of $40,000 in finding was distributed to musical events throughout the province leading up to the 2018 Junos, which will be hosted in Vancouver this year on March 25.

Wallgrin, a solo performer, is one of the new acts added thanks to the Juno funding.

“She’s art pop solo violin and vocal expertise,” says Brandon Hoffman, who is organizing the event. “We’ve had her up to open one of the Safety Meeting shows and it just floored the place. She’s super potent, she treats a loop station pedal unlike anybody I’ve ever seen.”

They’ve also added “local darlings of the B.C. Interior” Sampson’s Delilah, who performs “renaissance shred folk with a middle agey flair.”

The third group is the Real Ponchos, a band that has played in the area previously, but who have since come out with a new album.

According to Hoffman, they play “these really thoughtfully crafted, long sprawling country songs with huge solo sections and super catch choruses. It’s just a nice dancy driving music groove.”

Hoffman has organized each venue to fit a particular mood. The Limelight will feature a dancier vibe, while the Bean Counter and the Gecko Tree will each be a bit more casual, a good place to stop out and check out some food or have a latte.

The Central Cariboo Arts Centre will be a more intimate space.

“I’m bummed I’m going to be running sound in the hall for the whole weekend because there is some cool stuff going on. I think the atmosphere of the Arts Centre through the whole festival is going to be pretty electric. I think of the vibe we got going for some of the quieter safety meetings, like the Jason and Pharris Romaro show. I think it was just because everyone is so close, the artists are under a microscope and you can hear a pin drop. Just the way that we’ve lined up the artists in that room for the weekend I think it is going to be just like that the whole time.”

The addition of the Gecko Tree has allowed Hoffman to open up some new tickets for the festival, although he warns people who are thinking of coming that tickets are half gone.

“For a town that typically saves things to the last minute that should be a sign to get on it,” he says.

Hoffman says there has been interest in the festival from Prince George and as far away as Vancouver and the Kootneys.

Hoffman sends a shout out to the Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association for their sponsorship as well as Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society for a support grant and he looks forward to announcing further funding in the coming days.

Tickets for the festival cost adults $50 for the whole weekend, or $40 for youth/seniors. You can go online to www.artsonthefly.com to purchase tickets, or new this week, the Bean Counter will have physical tickets on sale.

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