(Gazette file photo)

Rock the Shores transforms West Shore Parks and Recreation

Friday’s headliners include X Ambasassadors and Skiitour

After a year hiatus, Rock the Shores returns to the lower fields of West Shore Parks and Recreation in Colwood this weekend.

This three-day festival transforms the site with a number of amenities for festival-goers.

Organizers of Rock the Shores are also working to make the festival even more family friendly, with admission free for kids 12 and under attending with parents (register online). Cool hearing protection headphones will also be provided free for children and there will be a dedicated shade structure with kids activities.

With other new features like a reserved seating area on Field 2 and a ready-to-sleep camping area with room for 40 to 50 people (both extra costs), plus even more food and beverage choices – not to mention a solid and diverse 2018 musical lineup – RTS has benefited from taking a year off, says Nick Blasko, co-founder of festival promoter Atomique Productions.

“We’re breaking down the notion of what a music festival is, we’re not trying to make an event that is jammed corner to corner, with limited food options and one type of beer,” he said.

“I think [pausing the festival last year] gave us a moment to really reflect on the event and focus on the parts that are really working … It allowed us to reset a little bit and in many ways gave us more time to work up to this edition. This’ll be our sixth instalment of the festival, and every time you do it you learn little things.”

READ MORE: A variety of musical flavours throughout weekend at Rock the Shores

Blasko is excited about the lineup, not least for the presence as the Sunday headliner of legendary Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson.

Atomique has been trying to bring the enigmatic 60’s and 70’s hitmaker to RTS for several years and it finally worked out this time around.

“He’ll be doing a greatest hits set that includes so many of the Beach Boys catalogue,” Blasko noted.

He described the three days as having distinctly different flavours: X Ambassadors (“Ahead of Myself,” “Renegades”) and Juliette and the Licks headline Friday’s pop-oriented show, Sheepdogs and Social Distortion wind up Saturday’s rock and roll night, while Wilson and Bahamas are the pinnacle of the “modern folk festival” Sunday.

READ MORE: Additional buses added for Rock the Shores

Working in partnership with B.C. Transit, additional buses are scheduled to help transport festival-goers to and from the venue. Also, to help avoid congestion on the West Shore Parks and Recreation site, the Colwood Transit Exchange will be closed before the end of the last performance each night. Passengers will instead be directed to buses on Island Highway.

Tickets are available for individual days or the full festival. For more information, visit rocktheshores.com.


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