Jim Byrnes (right) jams with Paul Pigat and others at the first Dream Music Festival held in 2015. -Western News file photo

Dream Music Festival celebrates third year

Jim Byrnes returns to host Penticton Dream Music Festival

Looking back, Jim Byrnes says he didn’t know what was going to happen when he hosted the first Dream Music Festival in 2015.

“We certainly wanted to get the word out that we wanted to ‘Keep the Dream Alive,’ which was our motto,” said Byrnes, referring to the effort to preserve The Dream Café, a Penticton venue with a worldwide reputation.

Back for his third year as the Dream Festival host, Byrnes said he’s glad to see the efforts of the co-op and the performers were successful.

“Awfully glad that it is alive. It’s gone through some changes, and they’ve had their ups and downs, but here we are to keep things moving in the right direction,” said “It’s a tough go, man, with the economy and the way the world is these days, you never know what is going to happen, but we certainly want to give it our best shot.”

Featuring the likes of Steve Dawson, Shakura S’Aida, Russell de Carle, Dave McLean and more — and Byrnes, of course — the festival brings together folk, rock, blues, R&B and gospel in a weekend to remember.

More: Dream Music Festival releases 2017 line-up

“It’s one of these deals where there is so many artists on, it becomes more than the sum of its parts,” said Byrnes.

“There is a certain amount of magic to it. We’ve got some returning artists and we’ve got a bunch of new artists, which I think is great. We’ve got some really new and good artists coming in this year that we haven’t seen before.”

Byrnes is looking forward to the energy the performers, old and new, bring to the Dream Festival stage.

“With the artists that I’ve known for a long time, there’s a comfort in that part, but there’s an excitement in getting together with people I haven’t worked with before,” said Byrnes. “That makes it even better.”

Byrnes said the audiences at the festival are also something to look forward to.

“Everybody is just so enthusiastic. The energy that you get back from them is part of the appeal. The music is one thing, but then all these people and the energy you get from them and everything is a great part of it,” said Byrnes. “Ain’t no audience, ain’t no show.”

It makes for a long weekend, said Byrnes, but “so worth it.” That’s high praise coming from Byrnes, who’s been playing professionally since 1964, and performed with the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and other greats of the blues scene.

“I have been doing this at some level, off and on professionally for some 52 years now. There have been some deep valleys and some great highs, but it is a gift I was given, to communicate through music and through storytelling,” said Byrnes. “I have just taken it as it comes and obviously it’s worked out for me, because I’ve given it my all.”

More: Jim Byrnes

Coming to Penticton also gives Byrnes a chance to visit friends, and enjoy the area.

“I’ve got a lot of friends up there, and look forward to coming and seeing some people as well as being at the event,” said Byrnes. “It’s great up there. There are a couple of places that I love to go to on a given day. Up there on the bench, it’s kind of like being in heaven.”

The Dream Music Festival takes place on May 12 and 13, in the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Tickets are on sale at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office or online at dreammusicfestival.ca.

Just Posted

Kelowna council settles on 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2018

“Safety” budget heavy on a wide-range of public safety related spending

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna RCMP seeks to reunite stolen items to owners

Numerous personal belongings were found during a seizure

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Most Read