Special to the Herald
The lineup is set. The couches are dusted off. The stage prepared. Chester Fest Couch and Music Festival is back.
The sophomore edition will run September 10th and 11th at H.O.P. Youth Place (formerly Par Place). The full lineup was announced a few weeks ago and is chock-full of amazing Saskatchewan talent including local favourites Katelyn Lehner, Kayleigh Skomorowski, LJ Tyson, Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys and the newly formed Traitor’s Gate.
Vancouver folk-pop sensations Said the Whale will headline the event on the Friday night, whilst legendary Canadian classic rockers Chilliwack will close out the festivities on Saturday.
“It’s a wonderful vibe. Everyone’s just happy to be there already, and you’re not expected to make everybody feel a certain way. You’re just there to do your job and if you do a good job you win fans,” commented Said the Whale’s Ben Worcester on his band’s affinity for smaller festivals.
Said the Whale will be releasing their seventh full length, entitled “Dandelion”, on October 22nd and will no doubt be itching to perform some of the new singles to the Chester Fest crowd.
Throughout their 14 years as a band, they have charmed audiences with catchy, melodic hooks and “heart on their sleeve” honesty and vulnerability. Their live shows are a treat and a lot of fun to watch.
“It’s awesome. I’ve never felt in our career that we’ve been restricted in the music that we write,” explained Worcester when asked of the band’s new album.
Said the Whale recently signed with bandmate Tyler Bancroft’s newly formed
Everything Forever record label. They’ve spent a good deal of the pandemic working on “Dandelion” when they could but also getting much needed family time. Bancroft and Worcester in particular both have young children. Worcester spent a good deal of time being the primary caregiver to his son this past year.
“We live near a beautiful forest park and so we go there every day and we go to the beach rain or shine and it’s amazing to see him developing love for the woods,” said Worcester of the quality time spent with his son throughout the pandemic. That being said, Worcester and bandmates are looking forward to the Chester Fest experience.
“I hope everybody has as much fun as we’re going to have. I’m glad (Chester Fest) is finally happening and if we have this opportunity to be together as human beings I hope everyone just enjoys every minute of it and shares that love around. I can’t imagine it being any other way. Just human interaction. Reciprocal energy. Everything the audience gives to the band the band can give right back to the audience,” said Worcester.
Passes and tickets can be purchased here: chesterfest.ca/tickets.