Lots of music in the hot hot sun

Spent the weekend testing the limits of heat endurance and my sunscreen at the Vancouver Island Music Festival in Courtenay.

Steven Page was solo-ing after leaving Barenaked Ladies.

Arlo Guthrie played for us on his birthday and was repaid with cake and our wonderful singing.

Saturday was so hot the most popular venue was the Woodland Stage as it had the only shady seats. But Eric Bibb was hot enough to draw a crowd no matter the temperature.

Del McCoury and his almost all-family band were top notch Saturday nighters.

James Keelaghan

and Martyn Joseph

at one of the song circles.

The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is excellent, enviable and right next door to the festival site: an extra treat for Saturday morning. The sour cherries looked good enough to take home,

but somehow the wrong thing to be hauling around all the hot, hot, hot day long.

Sunday morning kicked off – almost as hot as Saturday – with the likes of Jim Byrnes and The Sojourners

and the star of the show, IMHO, the wondrous Eric Bibb

Had we been tall enough, we would truly have hung from the rafters to enjoy this blistering blues workshop, featuring both Bibbs (Eric and his dad Leon), Michael Jerome Browne Band, Jim Byrnes, Luke Guthrie, Sam Hurrie…

Mark Stuart and Stacey Earle gave a farewell (as a duo) performance – both are heading into solo projects.

Yves Lambert et le Bebert Orchestra started the Sunday night set off with some fun.

Some lovely things at the festival: the water wagon was a definite treat, bringing chilled water to the masses in this festival that dared to ban plastic water bottles.

There was also a liquid godsend in the form of the jet tent, where you could get a cooling blast of mist…

And there were artists at work here and there.

The food was pretty good. The Nomad’s Kitchen was as folky as they come

serving platters like this one with grilled salmon

But Woodstock’s smokies were up to their usual magnificent standard; the top seller again was the Gardener’s Revenge (venison) – and very good it was too.

A fabulous treat which sadly sold out before Sunday elevenses: the outstanding caramel nut bar, lovingly crafted by Corfield Coffee Bar in Duncan.

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