Wailing guitars and frontman swagger are back as SidFest 7 turns it up to 11 at the Mary Winspear Centre this month.
Presented by Parkland Secondary School and organized by youth and family counselor Roger Young, the concert is back for its seventh year, showcasing the best Peninsula high school musical talent.
A much loved part of the music calendar, the concert is seen as a showcase for hungry young up-and-coming bands, and will be headlined by Madrona Drive and The Bankes Brothers.
The bands and musicians write their own music and SidFest was born to showcase these young artists on a bigger stage than a traditional school talent show or battle of the bands can usually provide. Some of the musicians are well known in the community and last year the audience was a 50:50 split between members of the public and school students.
“These are real quality performances. Sometimes you go to high school productions and don’t know how high the quality will be but we have a number of lunchtime shows [at school], partly to audition but also to develop the talent. The audience feedback has always been ‘what a tremendous night,’” says Young, noting the great work of teacher Cristina Sousa.
Each year the proceeds go to a local youth-centred non-profit. Over $10,000 has been raised, and past recipients include a youth shelter in Victoria, Hope House and the Peninsula Youth Clinic, which will again be this year’s chosen charity.
In the spirit of community service, the Mary Winspear Centre has donated the space and the RCMP is covering the cost of the audio and lighting equipment.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Mary Winspear and RCMP we’re able to go into this pro setting, so everyone’s pretty excited about it,” says Young.
The list of musicians and bands featured this year are Madrona Drive, Bankes Brothers, Blish, Mango Parade, Slow Days, Nicole Glover, Alexis Van Den Bulk and Clayton Harris.
The concert will take place Friday, May 24. For more information contact marywinspear.ca.