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Countryfest Announces Return With All-Canadian Lineup

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Good things come to those who wait. And because Dauphin’s Countryfest fans have waited for so long for the return of Canada’s longest running country music festival, they are being rewarded with a fantastic line-up of entertainers.

The all-Canadian bill for the July 1 to 3 festival features headliners Paul Brandt, Johnny Reid, Dallas Smith, Dean Brody and Terri Clark. They will be backed up by some first rate supporting acts including Gord Bamford, The Washboard Union, The Road Hammers, Madeline Merlo, Aaron Pritchett, The Reklaws, Chad Brownlee, Michelle Wright, Doc Walker, JoJo Mason, Hunter Brothers, Jess Moskaluke, Jade Eagleson, Tyler Joe Miller and Don Amero.

“There’s still some little holes to fill, some of the upper stage stuff and things like that, the earlier in the day things. But it’s pretty close,” Countryfest general manager Rob Waloschuk said, adding he is more than pleased to be able to feature a full lineup of Canadian talent.

“That’s the one we were trying to do last year and everybody was pretty excited about it, and seem to be again actually. So that’s good. “I challenge anybody in this country to come up with a better tribute to a Canada Day weekend than we are doing.”

As a special thank you to those patrons who have rolled over their tickets for the last two years, a Thursday Kick-Off Party will be held, exclusive to only those ticket holders, featuring Corb Lund.
There will be no opportunity for Thursday Day Passes sold for 2022 as the Countryfest board wants to reward its special ticket buyers with a comfortable concert for only them.

As well, those who held VIP tickets for 2021 and rolled them over to this year will be treated to a special VIP only cocktail reception and private concert with Charlie Major.

And even the rest of the weekend will not be as wide open as past Countryfest weekends, Waloschuk added, as crowd numbers will be reduced.

“We could probably sell a full crowd right now according to the province, but we’ve decided that we’re going to go 50 per cent capacity. Just to make people feel more comfortable and safe,” he said. “And, of course, it’s going to be a fully vaccinated event so everybody needs to be fully vaccinated. That’s everybody from the spectators all the way down to all the volunteers and service providers and things like that. Even the acts.”

With just 7,000 seats available, and 3,000 of those already claimed by patrons who rolled their tickets over from last year, Countryfest 2022 promises to be a hot ticket.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’re so happy. And it’s going to happen this time, I mean nothing’s going to get worse than it is right now. And as far as rules and stuff go, I can only see the future being better than what they are right now,” Waloschuk said, adding no additional tickets will be sold, even if public health rules are lifted in the new year.

“And that’s only because there’s a lot of people who are going to buy tickets feeling good about what we’re doing. And to go and change that on them later would not be fair.”

Tickets go on sale to Countryfest members Oct. 25 and to the general public on Nov. 15.

Ticket prices remain the same as last year with a weekend pass costing $249 plus fees and taxes, a VIP bar weekend pass costing $420 plus fees and taxes, a VIP bar seated weekend pass at $465 plus fees and taxes and a VIP deluxe weekend pass for $629 plus fees and taxes.

There is also a Party Pack available, which includes 10 regular weekend passes for $2,000 plus fees and taxes, a $500 savings over buying individual tickets.

Waloschuk added volunteers and vendors are being contacted, the site is in tip top shape and he can hardly wait for next July to arrive.

“It’s been a long couple years and we’re just really happy to be able to start giving back,” he said.