The Wapiti music festival on a typical year. (Kimberley Vlasic / The Free Press)

The Wapiti music festival on a typical year. (Kimberley Vlasic / The Free Press)

Fernie’s Wapiti 2021 struck off the lineup, due for a comeback in 2022

The music festival in Fernie has been cancelled for the second year in a row, but is looking good for 2022

The Wapiti Music Festival will not go ahead for the second year in a row according to the organisers, who decided to cancel the popular festival based on the provincial guidelines at the time.

Chantel Vincent, who is the Artistic Director of the festival said that for an annual event like Wapiti where planning starts a year in advance, the uncertainty of the last year (and change) had prevented the organisers from feeling confident enough to make any plans – but 2022 was looking pretty good.

“We made that call (to cancel 2021), and it ended up being the right call. For 2022, we are feeling pretty confident.

“I’m quite keen for (the board) to give me a hard number for 2022 because I’m excited to get out there and start looking and booking,” she said.

As the artistic director, Vincent is charged with finding and hiring bands to come to the two-day festival which is held in August each year.

“There’s so much to consider, but I think when we get to October and we have our first meeting and start thinking about 2022 we could be in a really different world by then.”

Vincent said she would likely have her work cut out for her.

“When I get my budget, there will be a lot of bands that would be very pleased to come to Fernie.”

In a typical year, the Wapiti Music Festival draws between 10 and 12 bands, and around 2,000 visitors to Fernie from around the region. Vincent said that while the festival had become a draw for the town, in 2022, it would be focused on the community.

“When we started this festival it was a festival for our community – yes we grew it and a lot of people come from out of town, but I think 2022 is about our community coming back together. I think it’s going to be emotional.”

Planning for the next festival will start in October this year, and all plans will be based on adherence to whatever provincial health orders are in place at the time.

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scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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