Rock the Shores kicked off Friday after a year hiatus. Friday afternoon performances included Youngblood from Vancouver. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

After a year hiatus, Rock the Shores is back. The three-day music festival has transformed the lower fields of West Shore Parks and Recreation in Colwood.

Sunday’s headliners include the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash.

Saturday’s headliners are Social Distortion, The Sheepdogs and Corb Lund and Metchosin’s Jesse Roper.

Hundreds of fans waited in the 30 degree heat to watch Roper perform, but there are misting stations for concert-goers to cool off in. Roper started his set with Access to Infinity.

Friday’s headliners included the X Ambassadors, Skiitour and Juliette and the Licks. Other performances for the day feature Dear Rouge, Felix Cartal, Kytami, The Elwins, Youngblood, Fortune Killers and Sugar Castle.

Festival gates open at noon each day with concerts ending at around 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t forget to arrive a little early if there is one artist in particular you want to see. For the full festival lineup, go to rocktheshores.com/schedule.

With hot weather forecast for the weekend, organizers are reminding festival-goers to wear hats, stay hydrated (there’s plenty of water stations onsite to fill water bottles) and to keep applying sunscreen.

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.

(Map courtesy of Atomique Productions)

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.

Organizers are also encouraging festival-goers to ride bicycles or travel to site by foot if possible.

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


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Rock the Shores kicked off Friday after a year hiatus. Friday afternoon performances included Youngblood from Vancouver and The Elwins from Ontario. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

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