In its seventh season, Fresh BC Talent Quest hosts the performers showcase and first-ever teen band contest on the first Saturday of each month at Tug’s Tap House Pub & Eatery in Penticton, with the winning band earning the chance to perform during the festival from Aug. 7 to 11. Bands must have at least three members to compete and must be between the ages of 9 and 18-years-old.
With three Saturday’s left to compete to make top three and advance to the final on June 22, Fresh BC Talent event producer Denis Chaykowski said registration is at an all-time low, with only one band registered so far. Sudbury Beach, a local teen band consisting of four members, has now performed once as part of the contest at Tug’s Tap House on Feb. 2 and is currently the top contender to advance to Peach Fest.
Sudbury Beach’s members say that performing live isn’t something there new to, but they appreciate any opportunity they are able to do so.
“We’ve played at Tug’s twice before,” said Koen Dyck, Sudbury Beach’s drummer and bass player, in an earlier interview with Western News.
Chloe Coffin, the group’s singer, added, “We have also played at our high school for the event 10,000 Tonight. And it was a 30 or 40-minute set so we got lots of good feedback as well.
“It’s great to get on stage and have this adrenaline, just feeling like a rockstar, it’s awesome,” said Ruby Stanton, who plays guitar and bass.
Chaykowski said he’d ideally like five bands to compete, but he will work with any number that signs up.
“The bottom line is I’m looking for five groups, if we get only three, if we get four or if we only have two, finals will still be on June 22 and one band will go to Peachfest, so the opportunity is there,” said Chaykowski to Western News staff, who emphasized that registration for the competition is free.
Chaykowski said it isn’t always easy to “find the right people” to form a band, so he empathizes with young performers.
“Finding the right people, finding people that can commit and are going to be true to what you want,” said Chaykowski. “It’s a very delicate thing working with bands and anybody in a group because of emotions and everybody’s ideas, it’s a struggle.”
Even still, he said it’s a great opportunity to develop your skills, gain live performance experience and possibly perform on the big stage. Chaykowski said band members can be from anywhere in the area, not just Penticton, which may help boost registration.
“I would say 70 per cent of our talent came from outside of Penticton, we’ve only had a small group out of Penticton, the rest are from Winfield, Vernon, Kelowna, Osoyoos, Oliver, those communities,” said Chaykowski. “It’s incredible how many kids were coming that distance to our shows here in Penticton.”
According to the competition website, competing bands must be able to perform a 30-minute set consisting of six songs. For more information about the contest and how to register, visit www.cmeliveproductions.com.
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