A storm of fiercely rockin’ musicians passed through Rossland over the weekend for Blizzard Fest, in conjunction with Rossland Winter Carnival.
The festival kicked off on Thursday night, and the first group to perform was the Devin Cuddy Band.
The band last came through the region on the Holiday Train, making stops in Nelson and Castlegar, but this was the first time the band perfomed in Rossland, and they had some trouble getting here.
“One of the mountain passes was closed for two hours, so we were a little [later than expected], but we made it in time,” said Devin Cuddy.
The band had no time to take in the carnival, as they were passing through on a Canadian tour, and had a show to play in Vancouver on Saturday.
“We’re doing a little winter tour,” said Cuddy. “We have our latest record on vinyl now and we have some new songs that we’re testing out for our next record.”
Cuddy hopes the band will be able to come back sometime.
The following night, Blizzard Fest veterans, Shred Kelly, headlined the festival at the Miners’ Hall.
“We played a couple of years ago in the Ice Palace and a couple of years before that we played the Miners’ Hall with Kytami,” said Time Newton, who plays banjo, ukelele and sings lead vocals.
Having played Blizzard Fest before, members of Shred Kelly have had the chance in previous years to check out the rail jam, local food and other bands playing the festival. They have yet to see the bobseld race, and didn’t get a chance this year, as they headed back to Fernie for a concert on Saturday.
Shred Kelly also had several friends playing the festival over the weekend.
“We have some friends playing at the Steamshovel tonight; the Tourist Company and the Matinée are good buddies of ours,” said Jordan Vlasschert, bass player. “And the Wet Secrets tomorrow at the Ice Palace are also good friends of ours.”
The Matinée closed down the Flying Steamshovel later in the evening. It was the band’s first time playing the festival, but played a show at the Shovel over the summer.
“We played here in the summer; we were on route to the Golden Sound Festival,” said Matt Layzell, lead vocals. “This was a stop on the way and Daniel [D’Amour], the promoter, right after the show said ‘I want you to come back in the winter,’ and right away we looked into the festival and got super excited.”
Though not everyone from the Matinée was able to stick around to enjoy Winter Carnival, Layzell planned to stay to check out some of the winter fun.
The honour of closing out the festival went to the Vancouver-based band HUMANS.
The electronic pop duo, Robert Slade and Peter Ricq, played the Flying Steamshovel on Saturday night.
Though Slade was raised in Nelson, this was the first time the band played Rossland.
“It was great. It was like a very quaint town. Really beautiful, people were really friendly, good dancers,” said Slade. “And then all of the subsequent after parties were really, really fun.”