Steamboat Mountain Music Festival heads online for 2020

Edgewater’s Steamboat Mountain Music Fest had to chart an alternative course for 2020.

Submitted by Anne Jardine

All aboard!

This year is a little bit different. With our public health emergency, Edgewater’s Steamboat Mountain Music Fest had to chart an alternative course for 2020.

Instead of our outdoor porch parties, main stage, tweener stage, and workshops on July 3 to 5, we will be offering an online festival instead.

We have set up a recording studio, and we will be making short (15 minute) videos of each of our local bands, one-by-one, on various days, by appointment, during the month of June.

Our studio will allow us to keep our sound system and some musical instruments set up and safe over a multi-day work period; it is a spacious environment where we can easily maintain social distancing, and it gives us easy cleaning access to all touch surfaces.

We have devised a safety plan so that there will be time between recording sessions to do the necessary sanitation.

We got started last week and intend to have all the recordings completed by June 22. We intend to stream the video clips over our festival dates of July 3 to 5 and then have them available on a Steamboat channel on YouTube after that.

Each band will get a DVD of their session, which they can keep for their portfolio and hopefully that will help them get more opportunities for gigs.

We know that musicians and artists have been hit hard this year, and most of their shows have been cancelled. We want to help as much as we can. We will be paying all our performers a flat fee, which, for most, is equivalent to one-third of their festival performance rate – but for a 15-minute, rather than a 65-minute set. We are not sure yet if everyone we had booked will be able to participate, but we’ll definitely be able to present our local acts. We will be paying our sound and video technicians at their usual professional rate.

Because we have not been able to do our local business sponsorship campaign this year, we are keeping our expenses as tight as possible. We are grateful to our major sponsors, who have come on board despite all the uncertainties. We appreciate the generous support of the Arnie J. Charbonneau Foundation, the BC Arts Council, Gaming & Lotteries, BC Hydro, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Valley Community Foundation, and the Regional District of East Kootenay Community Initiatives Program.

We are still holding our Duck Race to raise funds for our annual Steamboat Mountain Music Society Bursary. Duck tickets can be purchased at the Edgewater Post Office or Edgewater Legion, and we hope to have them available online soon too.

The real-live Steamboat Festival in Edgewater Park will be back up and rollin’ for July 2 to 4, 2021, which will be our tenth anniversary.

For this year, though, we’ll see you online.

File photo from 2019 festival

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