Shakedown festival has global flavour
© Darrell Cole – Amherst News
Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival organizer Davey Lee Goode talks to English volunteers Becky Whittingham (centre) and Fay Leatham as they prepare fliers for this weekend’s second annual festival.
AMHERST – Volunteers will play a key role in making sure this weekend’s Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival goes off without a hitch.
Not only are people from Amherst and Cumberland County helping out, but there’s an international flavour among the volunteers.
Becky Whittingham and Fay Leatham are in Amherst from Lancaster, England helping out with the festival that begins Friday and continues through Sunday in Victoria Square and a giant tent on Victoria Street.
“I came over because my cousin is Davey (Lee Goode), but I also love the music,” Whittingham said. “I’m really looking forward to the festival and helping out in any way I can.”
She said she has listened to lots of rockabilly music on CDs, but has yet to attend a festival such as the one in Amherst – being billed as the largest rockabilly festival in Canada.
For Leatham, it’s her first trip to Canada. The pair plan to spend the next two weeks experiencing fall in the Maritimes. Besides volunteering at the festival, the two plan to see as much as the Maritimes as they can before returning to England.
“I’ve never been here before but have heard so much about it (Canada),” Leatham said.
Goode, who is organizing the music festival, said Whittingham and Leatham will be doing a number of tasks during the three-day event, including working the admission gate as well as backstage.
“They’ll be pretty busy throughout the weekend,” he said.
Goode said they are just two examples of the dozens of people who have come on board to work the festival.
Media manager Cor VanderDonk said the volunteer response has been tremendous. He said the organizing committee has spent the last year preparing for this year and is already laying the groundwork for 2014.
Volunteers are an important part of the festival, he said. Without them, a festival of this size would be nearly impossible to pull off.
The festival will feature some of the biggest names in rockabilly including Johnny Powers and Chris Casello from Michigan, Tim Polecat from England, Charlie Hightone from Spain, Bloodshot Bill from Montreal, The Royal Crowns from Toronto and rockabilly legend Rayburn Anthony from Tennessee.
The festival begins Friday at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the mainstage events are $25. There are free concerts during the day in Victoria Square.
For more information, go to rockabillyshakedown.com.