Cavendish gearing up for hootenanny

Mitch MacDonald
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More than 50,000 country music fans ready for three-day Cavendish Beach Music Festival

FILE- In this April 18, 2010 file photo, Kenny Chesney performs at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Chesney headlines the Cavendish Beach Music Festival Saturday night.

CAVENDISH — It’s almost time to do the boot scootin’ boogie because the Cavendish Beach Music Festival gets underway here Friday.

Work is well underway preparing the north shore festival grounds as the temporary home of more than 50,000 country music fans this weekend at the fifth annual country music hootenanny.

The weather forecast is looking bright for the festival, with the forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday calling for a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures predicted to be in the 27- to 28- degree C range, a welcoming atmosphere for the thousands of Islanders and tourists alike already flocking to the site.

“There’s a lot of excitement on the Island. The traffic is rolling in, the RVs and campers,” said festival president Jeff Squires.

“The site is looking fantastic. We’ve made some changes this year. We have some additional stages and the kitchen tent stage has been expanded.”

Headliners Dwight Yoakam (Friday), Kenny Chesney (Saturday) and the Dixie Chicks (Sunday) will be playing the main stage along with an impressive lineup of entertainers.

In total, there will be at least 39 different artists and bands performing over the three-day festival.

The Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage will provide some up-close and personal performances, including local musician Tim Chaisson and festival favourite Rik Reese & Neon Highway.

Some of the other notable artists playing this weekend include Shooter Jennings, son of legendary country singer Waylon Jennings, Little Big Town, Emerson Drive, Deric Ruttan, along with many more.

This year will also feature the new “front porch” stage, which will see up-and-coming talent including Summerside native Trinity Bradshaw and 13-year-old Charlottetown performer Julia Dunn.

Squires said the front porch programming will be located near the entrance of the festival to create some early excitement upon entering the venue.

“As you come into the venue, there will be some entertainment to create some noise and activity,” said Squires.

Squires also pointed to a big buzz surrounding Chesney’s headline performance for Saturday.

“Kenny Chesney is one of the top touring acts in the world,” said Squires. “We’re glad to have him at Cavendish.”

Chesney is one of the country music’s top performers on the go right now, and just released his 14th studio album, Life on a Rock, this past April.

For the other headliners, it will be Yoakam’s only Canadian performance this July. The singer-songwriter will be playing Cavendish before his tour returns to the U.S. At the end of August, he’ll be returning to play a string of Canadian dates.

With an already rich back catalogue, the 56-year-old Yoakam’s 2012 release 3 Pears has been one of the most critically acclaimed of his career.

The Dixie Chicks website lists the group as only playing three concerts this summer, all of which have been scheduled in Canada, with Cavendish being the only east coast stop.

The group is playing the Ottawa Bluesfest on Saturday, July 6, and was

scheduled to play the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday, July 12, as part of the Calgary Stampede festivities.

That concert was cancelled Friday due to damage and cleanup in the Saddledome following last month’s flooding. The group’s other show will be at the Craven Country Jamboree in Saskatchewan later this month.

With some extra time on their hands with the Calgary cancellation, the Dixie Chicks could spend a few days enjoying the Island.

Information on the festival, including schedules as well as what items can be allowed into the festival grounds, can be found online at

Organizations: Dixie Chicks

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Recent comments

  • Gardiner Drive Fans
    July 04, 2013 - 11:41

    Looking forward to a GREAT weekend! Best of luck to Jeff and the entire team! See you there!

  • Jordan Parker
    July 04, 2013 - 10:14

    Can't wait for Kenny!