Organizers seek approval for new music festival in Cavendish
The Cavendish Beach Music Festival sees about 25,000 attendees each year - it’s a signature event on the island. Now the group behind it is hoping to add another.
Organizers pitched their food, drink, and rock-leaning music festival to about 100 locals in Cavendish, P.E.I., Monday evening.
While most of those in attendance agreed the event was a good idea, many questioned the planned dates, the weekend after the popular country music festival.
“We’re just not pro this concert during our peak season months,” said Adam Lowther, general manager of Fairways Cottages. “From July 1 to Sept. 4 we’ve had a committed, loyal, high-yielding demographic in families that has been steadily growing for 20 years now.”
Lowther said mixing 20-something festival goers with 30-something parents with kids doesn’t work well for accommodations, because the two groups are looking for very different experiences.
Whitecap Entertainment, which owns the festival, said the event is being designed to tap into an older demographic – the 30 plus crowd.
“Branding, the pricing, everything to do with this festival is aimed at an older clientele. We’re hopeful we can push that age up,” said Ben Murphy, Whitecap Entertainment CEO. “Will there be people under 25 there? Absolutely, but that won’t be the main target market.”
Murphy also said they are open to changing the date on subsequent years, but this year’s timing is to accommodate the acts they’ve booked, which have yet to be announced.
“As much as I would love to think, these world-class artist and chefs that we’re trying to get here, we get to pick the exact date they want to come,” said Murphy. “We have to be a little flexible.”
Many in the community are calling for the festival to be moved to the shoulder season, after kids have returned to school.
“We need to look at ways to diversify a product in all seasons,” said Lowther. “I think this event aligns really well with our off season.”
Lowther said that way tourism operators can take advantage of the festival, without pushing out the long-term customers the region has spent years cultivating.
Municipal council is set to decide if the festival will go ahead by the end of the month.
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