MusicFest exceeds organizers expectations on ticket sales

Sounder News

Tuesday, September 12 2017

According to Alina Cerminara, organizer of the Gabriola Music Festival which took place September 2 and 3 on the field behind Twin Beaches Centre, the festival, “was a success! We received rave reviews from many people who attended and performed.”

Cerminara organized the festival on behalf of the Gabriola Arts Council.

Numbers, she said, were higher than expected, with 350 tickets purchased ((under 10 were free and not accounted for), and additionally, there were 88 volunteers, 67 performers, 67 performer guests, 50 people vending, and 60 complimentary tickets.

She said two issues known already through feedback were parking and noise. 

Tom Armet, Manager of Bylaw Enforcement Services for the Regional District of Nanaimo said there have been no complaints made to the RDN regarding the MusicFest - which was not required to have a special events permit due to anticipated ticket sales being less than 500. Armet said, “an event under that size doesn’t preclude the organizers from complying with RDN noise control or Islands Trust bylaws.”

Cerminara said organizers, “worked hard to have a diverse mix of musicians in the lineup: bands both from Gabriola and off island, First Nations musicians, and a wide range of genres that appeal to all musical tastes.

“This was a challenging task, especially to make happen for a first event that had no grant funding, while paying artists fairly.”

Cerminara added her team is aware many of the members of the music community on Gabriola wanted to see more local performers than the nine groups involved.

“We will work on this for the future – we’re hoping that, with funding next year, we’ll be able to afford many of the local groups who applied and who were out of our budget. This will also mean we’ll be able to lower ticket and vending prices.

“It was a very hot weekend, so we thank you all for coming out to enjoy the music in the sweltering heat. And to all the fabulous volunteers, sponsors, and supporters! We couldn’t have done it without you.” 

The Arts Council is seeking feedback on the festival. A three-minute survey is available at the GAC web site at