Think about Prince Edward Island and you may envision, pristine sandy beaches, panoramic Atlantic Ocean views, amazing food, some of the world’s most scenic and challenging golf links, the Confederation Bridge link to New Brunswick and the romance of Anne of Green Gables. But for the past 10 years, a new tourist attraction has played a stellar role in the tourism promotion of Canada’s smallest province, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
During a three-day spell during the second week of July, country music fans flock to the province’s North Shore’s event centre to experience the delights of North America’s top musicians and the 11th edition of this music fest is no exception. Between Friday, July 5th, Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th, the likes of Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Washboard Union, High Valley and Hunter Hayes will head an all-star cast that will spotlight the festival’s centre stage.
“We are in the product development tourism industry so we are excited every year with the world-class artists we are able to attract to our festival,” notes Jeff Squires, President of Whitecap Entertainment, the festival’s founding father during the past 11 years. “Part of our attraction is not just the music but everything else we call PEI, the scenery, the food, the appeal of PEI. Some people just come for the three days but others come for a week and make this their annual vacation. We scale our ticket prices ($179.00, $189.50 and $209.50 for three VIP classes and just $85 for a day pass) to accommodate visitors who are planning an extended vacation.”
Over the past 10 years, Cavendish has earned the respect as one of the continent’s top country music gatherings and this year’s edition is no exception with the headline appeal of Underwood, Church and Hayes blending in with Canadian stars like High Valley, Chad Brownlee and Washboard Union while also spotlighting up and coming talent like Medicine Hat’s Mackenzie Porter and Union City, Tennessee’s Russel Dickerson.
“Canadian country music talent is very strong and we believe that Cavendish Beach Music Festival has played a major part in this development,” Squires noted. “Up and coming artists who have played on our main stage to large crowds have gone on to significantly develop their careers and we can take pride in that development.”
Squires, who heads the province’s PEI Brewing Company which also operates its own live venue, notes the strength of his festival is based on the on-going loyalty Cavendish Beach Music Festival has developed with its patrons.
“Back in 2008 if you were 20 years old, you are now over 30 so you probably went from camping in a tent with your buddies to renting out a trailer or a cottage for your family. As the festival has evolved, our patrons have also evolved in how they choose to participate and visit our event.”
For ticket and talent line-up information, please link to www.cavendishbeachmusic.com.