Victoria band Jon and Roy is headlining Longwoodstock at the Longwood Brewery on Sept. 22. (Photo courtesy Yannick Tiefenthaler)

Victoria band Jon and Roy is headlining Longwoodstock at the Longwood Brewery on Sept. 22. (Photo courtesy Yannick Tiefenthaler)

Victoria band Jon and Roy to headline Nanaimo’s Longwoodstock

Music and beer festival to include acts from Vancouver Island to Saskatoon

This summer’s music festival season took Victoria folk reggae band Jon and Roy from Vancouver Island to California, Massachusetts, Canmore and Edmonton.

On Saturday, Sept. 22 they add Nanaimo to that list when they headline the fourth annual Longwoodstock festival at Longwood Brewery. It’s the band’s first Vancouver Island show since Lake Cowichan’s Laketown Shakedown festival in May.

“It’s always nice to come home to Vancouver Island. It’s a beautiful place to live and, yeah, it’s been a little hectic but nice to be relaxing here for little while for sure,” said singer and guitarist Jon Middleton.

Other acts taking to the Longwoodstock stage include Saskatoon’s Close Talker, Vancouver’s Old Soul Rebel and Kaslo’s Small Town Artillery, as well as local and Island artists like SirReal, the Stacks, DJ All Good, Kendall Patrick, Dope Soda and Mike and Rachelle. As it is also a beer festival, Longwoodstock will feature a number of craft beers of tap.

Festival director Dave St. Jean has also served as Jon and Roy’s trombonist for about a year and a half and will join the band during their set.

“I will be performing with them in between running around trying to make sure everything’s running properly,” said St. Jean, adding the event transcends limits of genre age demographics.

As a result he looks for diverse acts with sweeping appeal. This year’s Longwoodstock mixes rock, soul, hip hop, folk and jazz.

Middleton said his group will “stick to our regular game plan, which is just to put together a good set and have a good time.”

He said the band has developed a lot over the past two years, particularly from the addition of St. Jean as a semi-regular member. He said the brass brings a lot of energy to their live performances.

Jon and Roy recently started recording a follow-up to last year’s album, The Road Ahead Is Golden, which Middleton expects to finish by the end of September and have ready for release in early 2019. He said some of the new material has more of a classic “rock and roll flavour.”

Until then, the band has a few more dates on the Island, like the Tofino Folk Festival in October.

St. Jean said he’s looking forward to joining Jon and Roy at Longwoodstock.

“To be able to play in my hometown and especially at a festival that I helped start is pretty sweet,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Longwoodstock 2018 takes place at the Longwood Brewery, 101A-2046 Boxwood Rd., on Saturday, Sept. 22. Doors at 1 p.m., show starts at 2 p.m. Tickets $40, available online.

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