Aaron Pritchett is set to play the Penticton Peach Festival’s Friday country night show on Aug. 11 on the main stage in Okanagan Lake Park. Submitted photo

Aaron Pritchett returning to Suntan City for Peachfest

The renowned Canadian country music artist has spent plenty of time in the Okanagan

Aaron Pritchett is no stranger to the Suntan City.

The Canadian country music singer said he lived in Kelowna for about six years, and has had friends all around the Okanagan. In fact, playing this year’s Penticton Peach Festival won’t even be a first for him — he played the 2012 festival as well.

“My agent and manager lives up in Penticton, as well, so we’re there a fair amount, but I think the last time we were there was last year when we played at The Mule,” he said, adding that he shot a music video for Out of the Blue in the area as well.

“We had a really great night that night at The Mule, so hopefully we have an even better night at the Peachfest.”

Having played both Penticton’s night scene and the free festival, Pritchett said he likes to play both kinds of show — the smaller club and the larger, outdoor festival — but said Peachfest was “kind of my show.”

“I remember the last time we played there, we had thousands and thousands of people, it was like a massive crowd, and just crazy,” he said.

“That’s kind of my show, like we try to start off with a bang and play a lot of the hits, or all the hits, really, but try and end it off with an even bigger bang, and hopefully people want to keep coming back for more.”

That said, he felt he could keep The Mule, a much smaller venue, bumping, adding that during the summer he likes to see a diverse crowd from across B.C. and as far as Alberta in attendance.

But the 2017 nominee for CCMA male artist of the year said he likes to visit the Okanagan every opportunity he gets — so much so that he took an unreleased Luke Bryan song, Suntan City, and localized it to B.C., particularly Penticton and Kelowna.

“My manager said we should record this song, and I did a little Canadian version of it, and it’s become sort of one of my goto songs for people to sing along to,” he said. “It fits Penticton, that’s for sure.”

Pritchett said he plans to arrive in Penticton a day early and spend some time with his manager and his family and friends.

“We might ride the channel. Pretty sure we’re going to take a floaty down the channel,” he said. “That’s kind of what we try to do every summer if we can, if we’re around. It’s a guaranteed thing, you’ve got to do it.”

As it is, Pritchett said he’s on his first extended summer vacation in over 15 years, but after Peachfest he’ll be doing some live shows across the country, with a live tour likely to follow early in the New Year.

“If we do (the tour), then Penticton’s definitely on our list of places to see if we can stop in at again,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not too soon since Peachfest by then.”

While he said he’ll be bringing his usual hits to Peachfest, he also intends to bring some of his newer songs.

The latest single, When a Momma’s Boy Meets a Daddy’s Girl, has played well, making the top five in the country music charts, but come Peachfest, he’ll have another single fresh off the press.

VW Bus will be coming out on his birthday, Aug. 2, making it only nine days old when he plays Peachfest on Aug. 11.

“You don’t expect radio to give you traction right away, but we’re hoping we have some success with this single as well,” he said.

“Every single, so far, off this album has gone top 10, so we’re really excited to get this one out and see how it does, as well.”

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