Smithers residents will have a chance to hear the best of local music with the upcoming Music on Main showcase at Bovill Square on June 19.
A diverse line-up of indie, alternative, jazz and rock bands have signed on to play the second annual event organized by local musicians. Music starts at 5 p.m. and is expected to go until about midnight.
Launched in 2014, Music on Main was created as a showcase for talented young musicians who don’t have musical contacts or easy access to venues.
Organizer and musician Stefan Bichlmaier said the inaugural event was a big success.
“We kind of want to create an event to be able to showcase the large amount of talent that we do have in Smithers so we wanted to … get a lot of other people to come watch and get a good amount of exposure for them,” he said.
“We got a large audience and a lot of good reviews from it.”
Bichlmaier is a member of the indie band Ten Thousand Ships and also plays in the Smithers Secondary School jazz band and string band Twisted String.
He said young artists in the Bulkley Valley needed an outlet like Music on Main to share their original music and perform in front of crowds.
“A lot of the members of these bands have been playing for a large part of their lives and it’s pretty important for them to be able to share the music that they create or enjoy playing,” he said.
“It’s really good experience as a musician to be able to play in front of people.”
He said having large groups of people at an open-air venue created a positive atmosphere at last year’s event at Bovill Square.
The Town of Smithers last month partnered with Bulkley Valley Insurance Services to make insurance for booking the stage available for a refundable deposit.
Bichlmaier said the new policy, which was introduced to encourage more concert bookings at Bovill Square, had made organizing the festival easier.
“That’s a burden off our minds,” he said.
“We don’t have a ton of funding for the event so it’s definitely nice to have that taken care of.”
Steven Tworow’s blues rock band Cabin Fever will play at Music on Main for the second time this year.
He said his band had fond memories of the 2014 event as one of his band’s first big shows.
“We weren’t really sure what to expect with it being the first time we had run the event but we got a really, really great crowd out and it was a whole lot of fun, probably the funnest set we’ve played to this point,” he said.
“I think it’s really great for our community and it makes really great use of such an awesome stage.”
He agreed the event opened doors for young and emerging musicians.
“I think this event is really great for showcasing young talent and it’s great for people who haven’t really got out there yet,” said Tworow.
“There was a couple of bands last year who hadn’t really done anything at all yet and were able to get their name out there and it’s a lot of fun for sure.”