Rockabilly continues to gain traction in Amherst

Festival putting Amherst on Rockabilly map

Dave Mathieson
Published on August 4, 2014

“With the Rockabilly genre people will travel across continents and across oceans to get to these events,” said Goode.

AMHERST – The 3rd Annual Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival is in the books.

“It was a great success,” said Davey Lee Goode, festival promoter and founder. “Everyone had a great time, the artists, the fans and the volunteers, and that’s what’s it’s all about.”

The festival ran Friday to Sunday and featured Rockabilly legends such as Lee Rocker, WS Holland and Rayburn Anthony.

“There is not one artist that was a disappointment. Everybody played great,” said Goode.

Goode and his daughter, bassist Kim Goode, had a chance to play with some of the bands.

“On Friday we were playing with Rayburn and WS Holland. That’s was absolutely phenomenal, and then on Saturday we were playing again.”

The festival is putting Amherst on the Rockabilly map.

“This is the biggest Rockabilly Festival in Canada and we’re getting notice for that.”

Goode was in playing in Las Vegas in April and says he was surprised with how many people knew about the Rockabilly festival in Amherst.

“With the Rockabilly genre people will travel across continents and across oceans to get to these events,” said Goode. “It takes a few years to get there but the words spreading.

“I’m very confident we're going to enjoy some of those visits on a big scale. I’m confident about that.”

This year’s festival was moved from September to August.

“It was a bit of a risk moving it forward from September to August but it worked and we’re going to keep it at that,” said Goode.

This year’s festival almost didn’t happen. The festival was briefly cancelled in mid-June due to sponsorship concerns.

“I never wanted to cancel it but we got close to that this year because a couple major sponsorships pulled out and the (financial) void was too big to fill,” said Goode. “But, through (MP) Scott Armstrong we got some of that funding back. That tipped the balance for me to think that I’m all in.”

Planning is already under way for next year’s festival.

“For the next 12 months my daughter is going to be working on this fulltime. We’re going to take ourselves to the next level,” said Goode.

Taking it to the next level means getting sponsors on board.

“Things like this don’t come cheap. I’ve personally invested in this for the future of the festival and to support the community," said Goode."I do have sponsors but there’s a lot of personal investment.”

Goode says it’s important to give sponsors value for their money.

“As an event promoter it’s part of making the right agreements with people and make sure we give sponsors the exposure,” said Goode. “I don’t expect people to give us anything but I think there is an opportunity for people to take a look and see what we can do for them and how we can work together.”

Anybody interested in sponsoring the festival can contact Goode at 694-9189.

“We have a lot of ways we can work with people,” added Goode. “It’s important to give sponsors good value. Money isn’t free.”

Goode also thanked all the participants and volunteers for all their hard work.

“There’s an awful lot of hard work behind the scenes that goes into an event like this,” said Goode. “The volunteers and the community deserve a huge pat on the back.”