It wasn’t the huge, three-day music festival organizers hoped would rock Fort Langley on the Aug. 27 to 29 weekend, but organizers were still glad to bring live music back to local fans.
Organizers of the Summerset Music Festival have had to pivot multiple times during the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately resulting in the cancellation of the 2020 event and the hosting of a dramatically scaled down version of the 2021 festivities in Fort Langley. There was also plans to introduce a Summerset Music & Arts Festival in Penticton later this month, but that too had to be cancelled due to COVID.
Still, Jonathan Houweling said he was pleased with the outcome of the local event.
“The weekend was fantastic, and it felt so great to bring live music back to music fans,” said Houweling, managing director for the host organization called Red Door Events.
He noted one of the late pivots in plans just days out from the event meant the relocation of the festival from inside the pallisade walls of the Fort Langley National Historic Site to the outdoor patio and lawn of Trading Post Brewing’s Fort Langley eatery, Red Door’s parent company.
Capacity shifted from thousands who came out in the first year of Summerset – when the festival was held at the fort’s orchard – to full capacity at Trading Post of 130 each night.
“All nights were a full house and there were loud audience cheers as we all appreciated being back to enjoying events together again,” Houweling said. “We had such a good time.”
Reflecting back on this year’s festival, he noted: “We are extremely pleased with the success of Summerset Nights… It was a memorable three nights of connecting music fans with the artists and songs they love again, and it was an honour to help our local community take another safe step in the return to ’normal.’ We look forward to hosting again.”
The intention, Houweling said, is to have Summerset Music & Arts Festival return to its original scale at the Fort Langley National Historic Site in 2022, dependent on COVID updates.
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