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10th annual Wapiti Music Festival goes off with a bang

The sold out event featured acts including Shred Kelly and The Sheepdogs

By Soranne Floarea

The Free Press Freelancer

Music blasted through James White Park over August 5th and 6th, as the Wapiti Music Festival returned to Fernie, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a sold out show.

The event, hosted for the first time in its new location, brimmed with an elated crowd eager to dance, sing, and soak up the sun over the weekend.

“There’s such good vibes down here,” said Wapiti’s artistic director, Chantel Vincent. “Everyone’s been so kind. They’re here to have a good time, and they’re ready to be back.”

Despite being postponed due to the pandemic, Vincent was thrilled to have the event kick back off, once again bringing live music, art, and culture to the Fernie community.

“It goes to show you that music brings everyone together,” said Vincent. “It’s heartwarming, it’s awesome, and all that hard work really pays off.”

This year’s line-up featured 11 musical acts from across Canada, including local legends Shred Kelly, returning favourites The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and much-anticipated headliners, The Sheepdogs.

“We look for an eclectic line up, bringing something that hasn’t been here before,” said Vincent, stating the Music Committee strives to put together a range of unique acts, with varying sounds and strong female influences.

The event also showcased a variety of vendors, keeping crowds captivated with everything from handmade art, to roasted coffee and specialty foods.

“We have had a new location, and a three year break - so there’s been a lot of extra planning,” said Vincent. “But when you look at everyone dancing, it’s worth it. It all works out in the end.”

Following the event’s successful return, Vincent extends a huge thank you to this year’s dedicated volunteers, who she says the event could not go on without.

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