The Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival will go ahead as planned from Aug. 1 to 3 after some last-ditch efforts secured some government funding to support the three-day event.
AMHERST – The show must - and will - go on.
A day after announcing the third Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival was being cancelled, organizers have announced the three-day festival will go ahead in early August.
“We’re delighted that things have come together the way they have,” Davey Lee Goode said Thursday. “Up until yesterday it looked as though the show was going to called off this year and that’s why we made the announcement we did. Since then, we have had all kinds of calls from people offering assistance and we’re now in a position in which we can hold the event.”
Goode said Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell, who has been a longtime supporter of the festival, helped him get in touch with Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong.
“I had a great talk with Mr. Armstrong yesterday and he was able to help us get some federal funding,” Goode said. “We’re so thankful to Terry and Scott for going to bat for us.”
While the sponsorship is down from last year, Goode said there is enough to hold the show and his team is now working furiously on rebooking the acts that were scheduled to come to Amherst from Aug. 1 to 3.
“We should be in a position to announce our lineup very soon,” Goode said.
Goode said the Town of Amherst continues to be a big supporter of the MaRS festival and has again offered its support for the event that last year attracted several thousand fans from across the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and as far away as Europe.
Goode said the Nova Scotia Tourist Association has also been a huge help over the past few days.
The festival has been billed as Canada’s biggest rockabilly festival and has included some of the best rockabilly performers from both Canada and the United States.
Goode said he’s disappointed with the declining sponsorship dollars, but admitted the industry is in the middle of some very tough times in music festival funding nationally.
Last year’s festival was honoured by the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce last fall and more recently it received the 2013 Festival and Event Award from the Central Nova Tourist Association.
Along with music in Victoria Square and a giant tent on Victoria Street, last year’s festival also included a classic car show and numerous vendors.
Goode said there's still a need for volunteers to help organize and work at the shwo. They can contact him at 694-9189, on the group's Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .