After two years of COVID-19 restrictions and delays, Funtastic Alberni is finally bringing back its Canada Day weekend slo-pitch tournament and music festival.
Canadian band 54-40 will headline the 32nd annual Funtastic Musical Festival and Okee Dokee Slo-Pitch Tournament in Port Alberni. The band was originally set to headline the 2020 event, which was cancelled after the declaration of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The slo-pitch tournament runs from July 1-3 at Echo Fields, while the music festival takes place July 1 and 2 at Bob Dailey Stadium in Port Alberni. The funds raised by Funtastic during this event will go towards local charities. The slo-pitch tournament has been full for months, with teams coming from all over the Island, Lower Mainland and beyond.
The music festival portion of the event kicks off on Canada Day evening, with Big Daddy performing at 7 p.m. and Boondock at 8 p.m. Headliner Dave Hartney will take the stage at 9:15 p.m. Hartney is a rising force in the Canadian country music scene from North Vancouver who has opened for artists like Dallas Smith and Dierks Bentley.
On Saturday, 54-40 will take the stage at 9:15 p.m. The alternative rock group has more than two decades of performances, records and awards behind them, as well as a catalogue of hit songs. Other performances on Saturday include Chase Spencer at 7 p.m. and Sweet Baby Jane at 8 p.m.
Gates open on both nights at 5 p.m. The event is 19+ and entrance is by wristband only. Wristbands are available for purchase for $30 at Trends Design Team on Margaret Street until Thursday, June 30, and will be available at the gate if there are any left.
Paul Robertson, executive director of Funtastic Alberni, says there are 2,000 wristbands available this year and the society has sold approximately 1,300 so far.