11th annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival set to open Friday

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Cavendish Beach Music Festival is about to begin its 11th season and some of the world’s biggest acts in country music are about to rock Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

“World-class event” is a phrase used by Jeff Squires, the CEO of Whitecap Entertainment — the company that produces CBMF.

The festival has a big weekend in store as the packed lineup includes country’s biggest star Carrie Underwood and other top artists including Hunter Hayes and Eric Church.

“It’s a marquee event and when they’re looking at their own summer schedules and where they’re playing … Cavendish Beach Music Festival is on the map for the performers the same way it is for the fans,” Squires said.

Carrie Underwood will play Saturday night, July 6. (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

The biggest expense for the festival is the performers.

“Every year we have world-class performers and we listen to the fans,” Squires said. 

Last year the festival won the Canadian Country Music Association’s award for top festival, following a weekend that brought the likes of Luke Bryan to the North Shore.

Experienced crew up to the challenge

The festival grounds at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival were getting some finishing touches on Thursday. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Squires said every year CBMF asks fans what they’d like to see next and Carrie Underwood has been on the “top of that list for a few years.” 

Crews have been working since May to accommodate the expected 25,000 concertgoers, said Jill Campbell, marketing manager for the festival.

She said crews were just putting together the final touches for the concert series. “Honestly, it’s a lot of grass cutting.”

Campbell said crews are scrambling, but they have it under control.

“We have a ton of crew members who have been here for 11 years, especially the site crew, which helps immensely,” she said.

Putting together the stage for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival is like putting together ‘adult Lego,’ says crew member Matt Hannah. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Matt Hannah is one of those crew members. He said things were going smoothly on Thursday and building the stage up is fun.

“Everyone’s enjoying themselves, having a good time with the buds and just building adult Lego.”

The festival begins Friday and goes to Sunday evening, gates open at noon each day.

There are a few changes to the festival this year. There will be no bracelets showing that people are of legal drinking age.

Concertgoers will now have to have their ID on them at all times, and could be asked for it at any time.

As of Thursday afternoon, tickets are still available.

RCMP will be in the area

RCMP on P.E.I. will be enforcing Transport Canada’s drone regulations — which prohibit anyone from flying a drone at advertised events, like Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

RCMP on P.E.I. will be enforcing Transport Canada’s drone regulations. (RCMP)

Violations of the federal rules involving drones carries a minimum $250 fine and a maximum fine of $15,000.

RCMP are also reminding concertgoers to make plans to get home safely and to not accept rides from strangers “no matter how friendly the gesture seems.”

Though cannabis is now legal across Canada, it will not be permitted at the CBMF festival grounds. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Police warn they will also be monitoring for impaired drivers, speeders and those carrying open liquor.

“While the majority of people attending the concert are law abiding, it only takes a few bad choices or unfortunate events to create a dangerous situation with long lasting results,” police said in a release.

“Make sure you and your friends are getting to and from the venue safely.”

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