Brett Kissel will be performing at the Kootenay Country Music Festival on July 7.

Brett Kissel will be performing at the Kootenay Country Music Festival on July 7.

Kootenay Country Music Festival announces 2018 headliners

The Washboard Union, Brett Kissel and Emerson Drive will be the featured acts at the July festival.

The Kootenay Country Music Festival (KCMF) has announced the headliners for the 2018 festival and the list includes the Canadian Country Music Association’s 2017 Artist of the Year.

The Washboard Union will be performing July 6, Brett Kissel will hit the stage July 7 and Emerson Drive will be the featured act July 8.

KCMF will be holding a special pre-sale event for next summer’s festival which will once again be held at the Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds in Castlegar.

The Washboard Union has won numerous country music awards including Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Roots Artist of the Year for the last two years and the Rising Star Award in 2016. Also in 2016, they took home BCCMA Group Duo of the Year, Roots Canadiana of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

Brett Kissel has also won many awards including CCMA 2017 Male Artist of the Year, Video of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year. In 2016 he took home CCMA awards for Male Artist of the Year, Interactive Artist of the Year and the Fan’s Choice Award.

Emerson Drive has been nominated for many awards including a Grammy in 2008, Juno Awards and CCMA Album of the Year. “They have a huge, very loyal fan base. They’re basically considered legends of Canadian country music,” said event organizer Travis Pangburn of Pangburn Philosphy who is originally from the Kootenays.

Pangburn says that decisions on not just the headliner lineup, but the rest of the lineup as well were based on a survey that was set out to last year’s festival attendees.

Over 600 people filled out the survey and a few changes to the festival are taking place as a result. The layout of the festival ground will be tweaked a bit including moving the children’s area closer to the stage area.

A big change is that the festival will change from two days with long hours to three days with shorter hours. The 2018 festival will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 – 11 p.m. each day.

The full lineup will be announced in late January or early February. “People can rest assured that the bands that got their votes [in the survey], that people want to see, will be coming,” said Pangburn.

“Our goal last year was to inspire the community with artistic experiences and I think we over achieved on that goal,” added Pangburn. “People were tearing up, because they didn’t realize the caliber and how good it was going to be from the stage to the artists.”

Pangburn also says that they plan to continue purchasing and contracting locally whenever possible.

Once again KCMF is looking for local volunteers to help with the event. Last year a group of about 60 volunteers helped make the show a success. Information on volunteering is available on the festival’s Facebook page.

Starting on Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. 500 tickets will be available at pre-sale prices.

Regular ticket prices go into effect Nov. 24.

Tickets will be available at www.kootenaycountryfest.com/tickets.

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