Rock of the Woods music festival takes a break

Rock of the Woods is going silent for 2017:“taking time off to re-group and focus on its mandate.”

Rock of the Woods is going silent for 2017.

Dave Bain, the director of the music festival that has been held in the Cowichan Valley since 2010, announced last week that it is “taking time off to re-group and focus on its mandate.”

“The Rock of the Woods music festival is announcing a hiatus to reflect on its founding goals and evaluate support for music and cultural festivals in the Cowichan Valley,” Bain said. “Our small festival has always been dedicated to developing and fostering arts and culture within the Cowichan Valley. After six years of giving our all to the festival we feel it is time to take a break and look at how Rock of the Woods can move ahead.”

Rock of the Woods has gone through several different iterations and locations, including Bamberton, Glenora Farm and Godfrey Brownell Winery before finding what appeared to be a permanent location at the end of Irvine Drive in Sahtlam, where it ran from 2014 to 2016.

Although the festival went on without incident every year, organizers went through four years of changing permit processes, then helped test a new Cowichan Valley Regional District process beginning in 2014.

“Unfortunately, the length and uncertainty of this process brought a focus on permitting rather than on the festival’s efforts to support local artists and businesses,” Bain said. “Rock of the Woods believes that a hiatus will provide an opportunity to make up for this lost time and assess the festival’s operations and offerings.

“With a volunteer festival team the lengthy permitting process meant we were unable to provide certainty to our team and allow them to focus on developing the festival. We would like to thank our many supporters and the amazing festival community that has made Rock of the Woods an event so many people look forward to each year.”

Artists who have performed at Rock of the Woods include many local acts, most notably Band of Rascals, as well as national and international artists Plants and Animals, Chad van Gaalen, The Dudes, Gob, Vince Vaccaro, Monophonics, Hannah Georgas, Jon & Roy, Bubba Sparxxx, The Pack A.D., Robert DeLong, and Humans.