"It was a perfect musical date at Saturday’s Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival: not too hot, not to cold – all you needed was a light jacket as the sun went down. Paraphrasing hillbilly movie characters aside, Blues + Roots has always proudly gone their own way in the heart of Burnaby, and this year’s festival in the park proved to be no different.
Headlined by local guitar legend Colin James, the lineup included a variety of acts across three stages that ranged from head-banging rock to a capella gospel.
The festival has always attracted a core audience of music aficionados who seriously dig their rock, roots and blues. That, combined with the stunning Deer Lake setting and thoughtful policies (such as a clearly delineated railing against high-backed chairs), makes for a pleasant, grown-up musical experience.
The low-key vibe was also evident in the festival’s liberal alcohol license: attendees, after being pre-screened with proper ID, could freely wander the grounds with purchased drinks in hand, instead of being herded into an isolated beer pit that probably more resembles a holding pen than anyone’s idea of a good time.
There’s rarely any drama at the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, and for this music-loving crowd, that’s the good kind of boring."
Odds & Ends