Garden City Grooves music festival returns with live music and dancing at full capacity

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions for live events means the annual event can return with a boogie


What: Garden City Grooves with Fort Knox Five, The Soul Rebels, The Boom Booms, The Bankes Brothers and more

Or: White Eagle Polish Hall, 90 Dock St.

When: Friday to Sunday


When capacity restrictions for live events were lifted last week, Garden City Grooves festival producer Dane Roberts could hardly believe his timing.

Roberts and the Victoria BC Ska Society announced the multi-day event would return to in-person performances this weekend, well before adjustments were made by the province. By all accounts, this was an eleventh hour injection of good news.

The easing of restrictions has helped organizers meet growing demand for tickets, Roberts said. “We already sold out one of the days.”

The eighth edition of the festival comes at a time when large parts of the public are ready to dance, which they are allowed to do this weekend after months of a ban on dancing. The lineup, made up of artists from Canada and the United States, has been programmed to respond to this new development.

Garden City Grooves was a digital-only entity last year, so there’s a boogie backlog, and Roberts said he expects Friday-Sunday lineup at the White Eagle Polish Hall in James Bay. get good traffic. the events – five in total, spread over three days – are for all ages and family-friendly.

“People are really happy. Dancing has always been the big deal. The name of the festival — it’s all about groove music.

The Boom Booms, The Bankes Brothers, Xalida and DJ Coldbeef perform on Friday, while Fort Knox Five with Mark Woodyard, Blasé Blasé, Mo Moshiri with Grossbuster and Jennay Badger are scheduled for Saturday. Sunday’s lineup, which includes Garbiel Teodros and DJ Abel, is fronted by New Orleans funk favorites, the Soul Rebels — an act Roberts has been trying to bring to Victoria for several years.

The uncertainty around COVID-19 has often meant producers are at the mercy of a myriad of forces, from public apathy to regulatory concessions. It seems to be in the rearview mirror, Roberts said. He thinks the market can withstand anything in the coming months, which is significant – including the return of the annual Victoria Ska and Reggae Festival, scheduled for June 22-26.

“It’s a community where people really want to have good music, and there are opportunities for us. We’re on a new chapter and we’re going to need new venues for that to work. to be discovered.

The Soul Rebels and Teodros will be offering free workshops at White Eagle Hall in addition to their live performances. The Victoria BC Ska Society believes in giving back to the community, Roberts said, which is why the local focus is always evident at their events, including Garden City Grooves.

“The power of our local and regional scene is so important,” he said. “The pandemic has given us more reason to focus on ourselves. This island has a special atmosphere.

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