No Base II shows at Whistler Music and Arts Festival 

Producers looking forward to 2006

There will be no music concerts at Base II on Blackcomb Mountain during this year’s Whistler Music and Arts Festival, concert producers Shoreline Media Inc. and festival organizers Tourism Whistler have confirmed.

Shoreline, an entertainment marketing and production company based in New York, signed a contract with Tourism Whistler this past May to stage concerts at Base II in conjunction with the annual summer festival from 2006 through 2010. The organizations were introduced in January via relationships with the World Olympians Association, the Festival Of The Olympians and Olympic sponsor Visa.

The limited time period between the May contract signing and the second annual festival, which takes place July 22-24, meant that there would be a Shoreline-produced Base II show this year only in the event of what Shoreline President Christopher Shields deemed "extraordinary circumstances."

"We had hoped to finalize a contract in time to produce something comfortably within 2005, but unfortunately it took quite a long time and we finished up the contract in May and that is not adequate time to produce something comfortably," Shields said over the phone from Torino, Italy where Shoreline is working on the Festival of the Olympians for the 2006 Olympic Games.

"What that means in the industry is that you are trying to book artists on what they call a ‘fly date’… an artist that’s not touring or somebody that’s canceled a tour date that is touring and it happens to arrive perfectly with that location. So that’s what we were hoping for.

"We were all, of course, crossing our fingers for the extraordinary experience, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening."

According to Shields, plans for next year are proceeding full steam ahead for a venue he deemed "one of the most beautiful stages around."

He said that the company is considering "lots of potential names" for 2006, citing as examples The Allman Brothers, Wilco, Coldplay, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Sara MacLachlan and Sting.

While a Shoreline show in conjunction with next weekend’s festival has been ruled out, there is still a chance Shoreline would stage an event at Base II later in the summer if the "extraordinary circumstances" were to arise, Shields said.

Shoreline has produced events in destinations such as Newport, Telluride, Montreaux and Umbria. Shields has produced events involving megastars Garth Brooks, Madonna and Janet Jackson.

Tourism Whistler’s vice president of marketing, Arlene Schieven, deemed Shoreline’s industry profile "a huge benefit" to the fledgling Whistler Music and Arts festival.

"Ultimately our vision is that it will become a week-long festival that will be book-ended by two larger events and that we’ll have lots of things going on. For the long-term that’s our vision so it’s a good match to have someone come in who can attract the high-name performers," Schieven said.

In the absence of a Base II concert this year, there will be a series of free, live music performances on a main stage in Whistler Village on Friday and Saturday afternoon/evenings and Sunday afternoon during the festival.

The lineup also includes featuring street entertainment along the Village Stroll and an outdoor screening of short films presented by the Whistler Film Festival Society. Two Whistler Arts Council-run events – the 2 nd Annual Whistler ArtWalk and the 23 rd Annual Whistler Children’s Art Festival – are also considered part of the Whistler Music and Arts Festival lineup.

For more information on events at the upcoming festival go to www.tourismwhistler.com.

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