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Upcoming Music Festivals In Sooke and Port Renfrew

Clover Point Drifters

The Clover Point Drifters will perform at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Tall Tree Music Festival

Back once again, the ever popular Sooke River Bluegrass festival goes this coming weekend, June 18-20 for three full days of music, camping, and hopefully, sunshine.

Held every 3rd weekend in June, the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival is well known for being a family-friendly affair, and the setting couldn’t be better – at the Sooke River Campground, along the banks of the river. As music festivals go, it’s tremendously affordable, with a weekend pass going for only $35, and single day passes also available. There is on-site camping for both tents and RVs, and a huge lineup of players, including The Spinney Brothers and Four Chords of Wood.

With the summer weather having finally arrived, I can’t think of a better way to take in some great music!

Tall Tree Music Festival

Tall Tree Music Festival

New (as far as I know) this year is the Tall Tree Music Festival on June 25 and 26th, being held on the edge of the earth in beautiful and rustic Port Renfrew, about an hour’s drive west along the highway from Sooke.

A 2 day festival featuring bands such as Aidan Knight, Current Swell and, uh, Donkey Dong (yeah, you probably don’t want to Google that), you’ll be listening and camping on the site of the old Rec Retreat on Baird Road just past the general store in Port Renfrew. This site is soon to become Wild Coast Cottages (post on this to come soon). The festival is being held in support of “Avatar Grove,” the stand of old-growth trees recently “discovered” in the area. A group called Ancient Forest Alliance wants to protect this special place for all to enjoy for posterity.

Anything happening in Renfrew is a great idea in my opinion. The tiny village of about 200 is well known for great fishing, and as a jumping off point to hike the West Coast Trail or the Juan De Fuca Trail. I predict that it will grow in popularity in the coming years, much like Tofino has.

If you go:

  • NO DRINKING DRIVING – and there will be roadblocks (pretty easy when there’s only one road).
  • Uneven ground & coastal weather – bring good footwear & clothes
  • If you plan to camp on site you must buy a camping pass separately
  • There is no gas in Renfrew so GAS UP IN SOOKE  (or Lake Cowichan if you’re coming that way)!
  • No cash available on site – BRING CASH
  • No vehicles on site – caravans can stay in the parking lot
  • Carpool – let’s save the planet & avoid congestion. Free parking for carpools of 3 or more.
  • 19+ event – there will be a Salt Spring Ales beer garden
  • No campfires, no pets, no bad attitudes.

Have an event in the Sooke Region this summer? Send me the details and I’ll post about it here!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Potholes Camping To Resume Spring 2010

Image Credit - The Land Conservancy of BC

Since the Capital Regional District and The Land Conservancy bought up some formerly private land around the Sooke Potholes a few years back (they recently bought some more), lots has been done up there. Expanded parking, trail work, Galloping Goose Trail upgrades, and the Sooke Potholes Campsite.

Unfortunately, due to CRD water main construction, the campsite was closed for the entire 2009 season. I’m pleased to report that the campsite will be open from May 21 to September 6, 2010. The Sooke Potholes Campsite, operated by The Land Conservancy of BC, features 65 campsites (55 tenting sites and 10 RV/trailer sites), including 5 that are along the Galloping Goose Trail and are designated as bike-in only. Reservations are taken for most of the sites, but some are held for first-come, first-served park visitors.

Activities at Sooke Potholes Park include hiking, cycling, mountain biking, fishing, and of course, swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Sooke River, in the naturally-formed “potholes” that give the area its name.You can even hike or bike up to Leechtown, a real-life ghost town and relic of a short-lived gold rush on the Leech River in 1864.

Camping is just $21 per night, plus a $7 reservation fee. Firewood is available for purchase (as long as no fire bans are in place – typically in the hottest summer months) for $6.

Find out more information on the Sooke Potholes Campground website, including frequently asked questions and fact sheet. Online reservations for camping at Sooke Potholes will be available mid-April, 2010.

I also noticed that they are hiring support staff for the campground.

What’s your favourite campsite in the south-Island region? Why?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or subscribe to this blog for free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!