Cavendish Beach Music Festival (CBMF), presented by Bell is making a triumphant return this summer. The festival is back with main stage headliners Luke Combs on Thursday, July 7th, Darius Rucker on Friday, July 8th, and Dustin Lynch on Saturday, July 9th.
Rounding out the main stage line-up includes JUNO Award-nominated and CCMA Award-winner Aaron Goodvin, multiple CCMA and JUNO Award-nominated and SCMA Award-winners Hunter Brothers, and JUNO and multiple CCMA Award-winners The Washboard Union, amongst many other amazing performers.
The Colliding Tides Kitchen Stage will also kick off on Thursday, July 7th and run until Saturday, July 9th, including an incredible array of talent such as multiple CCMA Award-nominated and CMAB award-winners Nice Horse and Platinum-selling, award-winning country artist Tebey.
Two-time award-winner of the Canadian Country Music Association Festival / Event of the Year and nominee for the East Coast Music Association Festival / Event of the Year, Cavendish Beach Music Festival has quickly grown to become Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-day outdoor music festival.
Located in the picturesque coastal resort community of Cavendish, P.E.I, Cavendish is turned into the hottest, most star-studded spot in the region every July, attracting over 60,000 country music fans each year. Past festival performers have included Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Brett Eldredge, Lady Antebellum, and country legends Ricky Skaggs, Alabama, Reba, and pop sensation Shawn Mendes.
I had the opportunity to speak with CEO of Murphy Hospitality Group and spokesperson for CBMF, Ben Murphy about how the festival continues to thrive, and what we can expect this summer.
Kat: Can you tell us a bit about your role with the Cavendish Beach Music Festival?
Ben: I have held many different roles with the festival, as I have been with it since year 1. I started in operations overseeing the site, transitioned to running the Food & Beverage, and now overseeing it all as we took over sole ownership of the festival during the pandemic. So I work with all our suppliers, vendors and lead our amazing team.
Kat: Cavendish Beach Music Festival is Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-day outdoor country music festival. How is the team preparing for the festival and what can festival goers expect this year after a 2 year pandemic hiatus?
Ben: We have assembled a lot of the same team from 3 years ago, and everyone is looking forward to working together again. We are excited to have some new team members experience the festival for the first time. Festival-goers can expect the same well organized event, with some of the world’s best country music in beautiful Cavendish Beach PEI.
Kat: Is there anything different about this year’s festival compared to past festivals?
Ben: We are laying out the site very similar to years past. With this being the first in three years, we are more focused on doing what we have done well over the festival’s history. After this year we may look at tweaking things a bit.
Kat: How does the allure of Prince Edward Island play a role in making the festival so successful?
Ben: It plays a huge role. We designed the site, so when you walk in the front gates you overlook the church steeple out into the ocean. We wanted everyone to experience this, even though it does make the walk a touch longer to the front gate. PEI is known for its amazing hospitality and we felt that, in the festival/concert scene, there was an opening there to provide that experience for the festival audience.
Kat: The festival has some of the biggest names in Country music performing, can you share a little about the artist selection process, and how you continue to have the hottest acts there year after year?
Ben: We keep a close eye on who our fans are asking for, but also who is releasing albums when, who has been in the area before, and obviously it has to work with the acts, so it is always a balancing act. We try to balance the line-up with different styles of country music as well, so we can give people music from bluegrass all the way to contemporary/pop country music.
Kat: Do you have any favourite moments from past festivals?
Ben: Anytime it rains there is always a story. Lady A early on playing in a downpour really solidified us as a festival, or Billy Ray Cyrus playing a jam-packed Colliding Tides Kitchen Stage (one of our smaller stages). I’d be remiss not to mention my overall favourite moment, when I got engaged the last night of the 2019 festival, as my wife Ally and I, met working at the festival. So it’s always a place that we enjoy.