A Chat With Cavendish Beach Music Festival Colliding Tides Kitchen Stage Artist Mariya Stokes


Kat Harlton

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. 

The Colliding Tides Kitchen Stage will also kick off on Thursday, July 7th and run until Saturday, July 9th, with an incredible array of talent including Mariya Stokes.

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 chat with Mariya Stokes one of the Colliding Tides Kitchen Stage performers about what festival attendees can expect from her performance, tips for first time festival goers + more!

Kat: What does performing at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival mean to you?

Mariya: It is a tremendous honour for a prairie gal like me to be invited to perform at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. My friend and fellow country artist, Ben Chase, who is originally from PEI, has told me so many amazing stories about performing and attending CBMF as a fan and I’m looking forward to experiencing the festival myself. Country and bluegrass music seems to be woven into the fabric of Canadian East Coast culture, and I cannot wait to be surrounded by that energy. This summer will be the first time I’ve performed in the Maritimes – I’m looking forward to meeting fellow country fans I’ve been connecting with online in person!

Kat: Can you give us any hints about what festival goers can expect from your performance this year?

Mariya: Festival-goers can expect down-home story-telling with a groovy twist: 70s country-soul is the root of my music, style, and everything I do. I’ll be performing songs I’ve released and a few covers that mean a lot to me. A few new, unreleased tunes no one has heard before that I’m currently recording might be in our setlist as well, but I can’t confirm or deny that. Hehe!

Kat: Can you share with us a little about what goes into your preparation for a performance at a music festival this large?

Mariya: Preparing for a large festival is exciting and challenging, especially because we’re travelling across the country to be at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, and jet lag is real! Preparing looks like making sure my band and I are musically tight and that I am mentally on my A-game. My goal is to make sure the audience has a great time, so I focus on engaging the crowd and inviting them inside the show. Usually, before I get on stage, I listen to “Soulshine” by G’ovt Mule or “Love On Top” by Beyonce. Those tunes are grounding and also revv me up, so I’m ready to lead the party for a big crowd like the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Kat: What do you enjoy most about music festivals, aside from performing?

Mariya: The best part of music festivals for me is (you probably guessed it!) the music. It is a treat to watch all the other bands play, and I am really looking forward to seeing The Cadillac Three at Cavendish. They are one of my all-time favourite bands; I can’t wait to see them live. Also, I love connecting with other country music lovers at festivals. There is nothing better than experiencing the energy of a live show with folks who appreciate and value the artists on stage as much as I do.

Kat: Do you have any wisdom or tips for a first time festival goer?

Mariya: Absolutely – be prepared for all kinds of weather! I always bring water, try to wear a hat and sunscreen, and pack a raincoat just in case the weather decides to change. Nothing kills a vibe like being sunburnt or soaking wet while you’re at a festival; those things definitely help.

Kat: What are your plans for the rest of 2022? More live performances? Any new music?

Mariya: I’m in the studio recording an EP – we’re taking our time with it, and I am so excited to share this new body of work with everyone. New music is on the horizon in the fall, so stay tuned!

We’re also playing a ton of shows this summer which feels AMAZING – it’s so great to be back on stage again after the past few years. I look forward to performing at Nashville North at the Calgary Stampede in July. There are a ton of other shows coming up this summer that will be a blast – too many to name here. If you’d like more info on where I’m playing, check out www.mariyastokes.com/tour. Until next time, see you at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2022!

Twitter: @mariyastokes
TikTok: @mariyastokes
Facebook: /mariyastokes
Instagram: @mariyastokes
Website: http://www.mariyastokes.com

Twitter: @CavendishFest
Facebook: /CavendishBeachMusic
Instagram: @cavendishbeachmusic
Website: https://cavendishbeachmusic.com

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