One thing is for certain – just the sight of legendary children’s entertainer Fred Penner is enough to make people smile. This was apparent no matter what he was doing – whether it was playing a mean harmonica with the rock n’ roll band Miss Quincy or entertaining the masses all evening long – Penner was a hit.
After a week of questionable weather the skies cleared up just in time for performers and spectators alike to enjoy some beaming hot (almost too hot but hey we can’t really complain!) weather and an entire weekend of world class entertainment. It was so hot some performers gear literally melted off their instruments!
The weekend kicked off with a great sets by Daniel Lapp and Miss Quincy, who were joined by special guests CR Avery and Mr. Penner himself. The energy continued all weekend with amazing performances by Compassion Gorilla, Mob Bounce, Logan Staats, and Daniel Lapp on Saturday afternoon.
Local talent included Open Mic on both days and a feature performance by Marlin Wayne.
Magical Jesaja brought more than a little talent from his home in the Nemiah Valley with some amazing shows that captivated all ages. The local magician, just 18 years old, managed to completely hush the entire crowd of children – which everyone knows is a near impossible feat and a testament to his obvious greatness!
Evening performances included an incredible treat with Black Umfolosi Five – hailing from Zimbabwe. The quintet performed traditional African acapella-style music and songs and also the famed ‘Gumboot Dance’ which resonated with the crowd.
The night continued with the antics of the unbelievably talented CR Avery, whose show was a fabulous mix of humour, poetry, rock and roll and everything else you can think of! To cap off the night dancers got to get out and move to the amazing sound of the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer. This duo from Vancouver is well-known for their infectious sound and ability to get a crowd moving and they didn’t disappoint.
Sunday was another hot and sunny day full of lively children’s entertainment from nine-year old Stella Swanson, who performed with her mom Karen and her younger sister Sophie, and a full set from Fred Penner which was especially enjoyed by the 30-something generation!
The evening ended with a special performance by the iconic Barney Bentall. Performing such hits as “Something to Live For,” Bentall was at ease on the stage with a presence well-tuned to his years of performing.
It was a great weekend thanks to all of the volunteers that help make this Festival so special. Looking forward to the 2016 Bella Coola Music Festival!