Anyone familiar with the orchard outside Fort Langley National Historic Site would not recognize the typically open and quiet space this weekend.
The very first Summerset Music Festival kicked off its opening night with a very rock heavy line-up; The Trews, Jesse Roper, and Rival Sons.
Organized by Red Door, a spin off event company of Trading Post Brewing, the three-day festival spanning Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 is set to attract thousands of music lovers of all ages.
But live tunes are certainly not the only thing Summerset has going; rows of food trucks were there for hungry fans who wanted munchies with their music.
Games like cornhole, giant Jenga, ladderball, and even axe throwing were spread out through the field as well as a family zone for the younger concert-goers.
Even a marketplace full of local vendors selling hats, clothing, and artwork provided a sweeter vibe of the quieter side of the park.
Red Door director Jonathan Houweling said he was beyond happy with the way the first night was going.
“Things are going great – it’s so cool. Great vibes… it’s a little surreal to be honest after so many months of planning,” Houweling explained. “According to our ticket sales, we have more people than we expected.”
Guests were thrilled and thoroughly entertained with how the inaugural night was running too.
Langley attendee Scott Anderson, wearing a VIP badge around his neck, said he had been to many festivals before – but Summerset was notably different than the rest.
“It’s quieter than others, less crowded… but lots of space and less drunks… for now at least… plus, it has games,” Anderson said, planning to attend all three days.
Rachel Sledding, a vendor from Wagner Hills acknowledged she was not much of a rock fan, but there was still fun to be had. “I think it’s so great that there is other genres so everyone can be included,” she said, also attending the whole weekend.
Matt and Tessa Spencer, a couple from Langley, were coming for the first night only, saying it worked out well because she liked The Trews and Jesse Roper and he liked Rival Sons.
“It’s so great that it’s local,” Tessa said. “You don’t have to go all the way to Vancouver for a show and you can actually take a cab home.”
Rojo Patron felt the overall attendance was a bit underwhelming, but said he could see Summerset taking off in a big way over the next few years.
“It’s going to be out of control in the next five. One reason… because of this venue,” he said, looking around at the sprawling outdoor space.
A rainy morning put a momentary damper on the organizers spirits, but Houweling said they actually couldn’t have asked for anything better.
“We had what we like to call a natural dust control this morning,”Houweling laughed. “The area is very sandy and now there’s no mud and no slipping.”
April Wine, Kim Mitchell, The Washboard Union, Paul Brandt, and many more are still set to take the Summerset stage over the weekend.
More information on the festival including the rest of the line-up and tickets can be found at www.summersetfestival.ca.
The first set starts at 4 p.m. each afternoon with the final band taking the stage at 9 p.m.
“If it’s anything like the first three hours,” Houweling said about the rest of festival, “people are in for a treat.”
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