Mountain West lands a headliner 

Xavier Rudd on-board to perform for inaugural music festival, ticket prices announced


What: Mountain West Music Fest

When: Friday, Aug. 21 to Sunday, Aug. 23

Where: Whistler driving range

Cost: In advance $60 adults, each day, or $100 both, $15 kids over five, each day, or $25 both days

All of the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place to make Whistler's inaugural Mountain West Music Fest a success this summer. In fact, the local company organizing the event, Watermark Communications, has just announced a solid headliner for the two-day event, which runs from Friday, Aug. 21 until Sunday, Aug. 23, and it's looking like the music should set a peace loving, chilled out vibe - nothing agro or angsty here.

Xavier Rudd, an Australian singer-songwriter, is a virtual one-man-band, wielding guitars, Yidaki (didgeridoos), Weissenborn slide guitars, stomp box, harmonica, and percussion during every and any given performance. He's on board to take the stage at Mountain West on Saturday.

The Rastrillos, a 12-piece Mexican reggae band, have also been confirmed as one of the opening acts for Sunday.

Sue Eckersley, president of Watermark Communications, couldn't confirm the other artists in the lineup, as they're still in negotiations with many performers, but each day of the festival should include five acts.

"The rest of that lineup is going to fall into place pretty quickly," Eckersley said.

She explained that Saturday should have more of an earthy, folk music vibe to match Rudd's sound, while Sunday will be all about reggae.

They decided to pursue Rudd as a headliner for the event because his music captures the overall spirit and vibe they're aiming for with Mountain West.

"He embodies everything, and his music and the people that follow him embody everything we want this festival to be," Eckersley said. "It is very family-friendly, it's good-feeling music, it's outdoor-type of music."

Since announcing the festival a few weeks ago, Watermark has been working with Vancouver-based promoter, Derek Arrowsmith, of Upstream Entertainment to nail down the talent portion of the event. And so far, Eckersley is pleased with both the confirmed acts and the offers that are still out on the table.

"Both days are going to be a great lineup - I mean, the value that you'll get is really high, which is exactly what we want," she said.

Value seems to be one of the key focal points for organizers. At the same time they named Rudd as a headliner, organizers announced ticket prices. Early bird prices are $60 for adults each day, or $100 for both days, and $15 for kids over the age of five each day, or $25 for both days. VIP tickets are $200 in advance. During the week of the event, prices increase a bit: adult's will pay $75 for each day or $120 for both, while kids cost $25 each day or $40 for both, and VIP tickets will cost $250.

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