Blankets on the grass; warm summer nights under the stars; dancing and singing our hearts out closer than we could have dreamed to the performing artists and bands.
Don’t we all love outdoor summer music festivals?
The question of how much we value a local, homegrown festival in our backyards is currently hanging in the air like the last notes of a great show ringing in your ears on the way home.
Last week came the shocking announcement that the Squamish Constellation Festival will only be able to put on a 2023 festival with funding help.
Time to show them the money, melophiles.
Some negative nellies have said the 2022 acts for the Squamish festival were the reason the festival didn’t do as well as expected.
Frankly, it is sacrilegious to suggest the Lilith Fair Queen of the festival circuit Sarah McLachlan was not a fantastic get if you ask us.
If the problem were just the acts booked locally, we wouldn’t also have recently gotten the news that the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is folding up its lawn chairs for good.
It ran successfully for 45 years.
The pandemic kicked the whole industry in the drum kit with restrictions followed by supply chain and supplier challenges when the world opened up last summer.
Climate change — extreme weather events — are not helping on the worldwide stage, either.
For the Constellation Festival, costs are up between 30 to 40%, while ticket sales were down 30% in 2022, compared to 2019, the festival’s Kirsten Andrews told The Squamish Chief.
The government funding that helped it survive the pandemic has dried up, unfortunately.
So now it is on music and art lovers in the community to help.
“It’s incredible art we have. We have Juno and Grammy Award-winning artists,” Andrews said.
“They’re amazing ... I want people to come and find out about new amazing talent.”
There are many creative minds as well as individuals and companies with deep pockets in the corridor.
We pride ourselves in Squamish on our uniqueness and independence from the city, and Whistler. Do we really want to travel to either for all our fun-in-the-sun festival experiences?
Surely, the outside-the-box thinkers among us can find a way to make this happen under the stars for 2023 to, as Andrews said, “create meaningful opportunities for the residents of this town to have the culture and artistic experience that so many of us are longing for.”
She noted on top of angel investors, whatever help groups or individuals can give, whether in-kind or financial support, is welcome.
Able to help out in other big or small ways? Let the festival know.
“It is finding partners who really want to support us in the ways that they can,” Andrews said.