Print Edition: July 1, 2015
It’s music festival season. While students pack their fedoras, bo-ho chic maxis, sequined headbands, and other prescribed festival fashions, a local treasure awaits those of us who stick around.
Jam in Jubilee, Abbotsford’s annual outdoor concert series, is the ultimate way to experience a music festival: music without the pretention, drugs, sleepless nights, and drunken neighbours. This year the series, which takes place in Jubilee Park, runs every Thursday evening from July 9 to July 31.
This year’s line-up provides an interesting mix of bigger-name Vancouver bands like the Courtneys and Jordan Klassen alongside some well-loved local acts, like Little Wild and Midnight Lions. Bringing in local talent is a festival mission, according to Kristin van Vloten, a member of the Jam in Jubilee organizing committee.
“We’re proud of the fact that Abby musicians have a tradition of touring the world and making important contributions to the indie music scene, and we like giving new bands their first taste of festival stardom,” van Vloten says. “Who knows? Next year they could be playing South By Southwest.”
This year’s event has an added bonus for of-age attendees: site licensing. Want to have some beer with dinner on your picnic blanket in front of the stage? This year we will be able to have beer outside the designated beer tent.
“This is a big deal because site licensing is unprecedented in Abbotsford. It means the festival is going to have even more of a fun-summer-times feel,” van Vloten explained. And the beer vendor? Local talent goes beyond the music, with Abbotsford’s Raven Brewing Company providing the drinks. Considering the liquor licensing fiasco at the Tradex sex show, securing site licensing is an impressive feat.
Jam in Jubilee has been running for 11 years, and always proves to be a popular summertime event — so it came as a surprise for many that this year’s fest will only run for four weeks, as opposed to the six-week tradition. Having a shorter duration means that the organizers are trying to up the quality of the festival, including attracting some bigger name acts. Van Vloten explained that it comes down to funding.
“As you can imagine, it’s really hard to raise the funds to put on something like Jam in Jubilee, which is offered totally free to the community because we love making Abbotsford a more fun and less lonely place,” says van Vloten. “It’s also really hard to get enough volunteer hours to power a six-week festival. So the four-week timeframe is something we’re trying out to see if we can make the festival more sustainable.”
The festival will also include an “After Dark Series” taking place at Townhall Public House later in the evening.
Come out, enjoy some local talent and an artisan market outdoors, and discover Abbotsford’s cultural scene! If you’re interested in volunteering or want more details, check out the festival website at jaminjubilee.com.