Sleepless nights pay off with big Rock of the Woods festival line-up

From indie rock and pop-punk veterans to up-and-coming electronic stars, festival-goers can expect another eclectic lineup at Rock of the Woods on July 23-26.

Because of uncertainty about whether the festival would happen again this year, organizers were left with a short window in which to secure acts, but the slate of performers is as strong as ever, if not stronger, as ROTW prepares for its

fifth iteration.

"People are excited about the lineup," organizer Dave Bain said. "There were many sleepless nights, but it happened."

Co-headlining the festival are The Dudes, an indie rock institution from Calgary, and long-running Langley poppunk crew Gob.

"Growing up in the ’90s, Gob kind of blew up," Bain said. "They were a band that most people seemed pretty excited to see here."

Names like POD will appeal to fans of electronic music. B.C.’s own JPOD messes around with a wide variety of vintage sounds to create something entirely modern.

Some ROTW acts from the past are returning to show their support for Bain and his crew after the blocks the planners faced in the process earlier this year.

"A lot of people asked to play because they were so concerned about what happened," Bain said.

Among them are Shawnigan Lake’s

Dante DeCaro, formerly of Wolf Parade and Hot Hot Heat, and alt-pop singer-songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, who performed a well-received set at ROTW in 2013.

The Cowichan Valley’s Band of Rascals and Victoria’s High Noon to Midnight, both among the Rock of the Woods "house bands," without whom no festival would be complete, are also on the bill, along with Good for Grapes, SISTERS, Carmanah, Thunderpussy, Flipout with Jesse Manason, Man Made Lake, The Wild Romantics, Gold and Shadow, Lovecoast, Subterranean, Winston Wolfe, The Leaks, The Bad, Trace the Sky, Atwood X, Leahbabe, and Okisollo Sound, as well as some surprises yet to be announced.

Full weekend passes are $125, and camping passes are $35. Tickets are available at Duncan Music, the Cobblestone Pub, Mill Bay Pizza, Lyle’s Place in Victoria, and online at rockofthewoods. com Also as part of preparations for this year’s festival, organizers recently toured the site beside the Cowichan River with highly regarded environmental consultant Dave Polster regarding riparian work that can be done.

Plans for composting and recycling will be in place again this year as in the past, and the festival will continue its mandate of producing less than 100 pounds of garbage.

No ROTW event to date has produced more than 70 pounds of waste.

This year, they are also requiring every vendor to use at least one item of local produce. It’s all part of the community spirit that keeps the Rock of the Woods alive.

"The whole idea of the festival is that if we give attendees the right idea as soon as they enter the gates, they’ll be respectful," Bain said.

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