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Changes for Whoop Up Days include bigger name acts this year

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Big changes are afoot for Whoop Up Days this year, under the guidance of new Chief Operating officer Mike Warkentin.Mike Warkentin announces the music for Whoop up Days 2019. Photo by Richard Amery
Whoop Up Days begins  Aug, 20 , with a big country night, featuring Lethbridge’s Corb Lund Aaron Goodvin and Alee.

“We’re very excited to present this year’s entertainment. We have a three to five year plan to make Whoop Up days bigger,” Warkentin said.

There are new community partnerships with Visit Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College and there will be more security due to an exciting new, bigger lineup. Even better, ticket prices are going to be cheaper, going down to $12 in advance  and $15 at the gate.  A EX pass is available as well, allowing admission to every night for $34.

“We’ve talked with people in the community about that and that was the biggest concern — that ticket prices were too high, ” Warkentin said.
This year, there will also be priority seating for all concerts.
The stage site is being changed to a face the south to allow a 7,500 capacity, whereas the capacity before was 3,000.

There is no classic rock this year,which usually dominates Whoop Up Days, instead there are a lot of bigger contemporary names and up and coming stars.

“ It’s not to say we won’t have classic rock, but we wanted to book the best lineup we could this year to appeal to the widest range of people as possible,” Warkentin said.

 The Sam Roberts Band, who last played Lethbridge in April 2011, headline on Aug. 21 with Edmonton based, Juno nominated alternative/ soul musician Nuela Charles and Calgary based country/ roots musician Mariel Buckley.

 It will be all about indie rock and blues on  Aug. 22 with Burlington, Ontario Folk/ rock band Walk off The Earth, Edmonton based indie rock band Scenic Route To Alaska and Toronto based  blues/ soul band The Julian Taylor Band

It is alternative rock night Aug. 23 with the  Hamilton rockers the Arkells, Dundas Ontario rockers The Dirty Nil and Vancouver indie pop band Dear Rouge.
 Whoop Up Days is  also featuring a rap and hip hop night finishing things off on Friday, Aug. 24 with Atlanta rapper Lil Jon,  Notorious YEG and Harman B.

There will be up and coming country stars entertaining nightly in the Let Er’ Buck Saloon, which opens at 3 p.m. for a $4 beer happy hour until 6 p.m. and then remain open until 1 a.m. with Medicine Hat duo Mahoney performing  Aug. 20, Ryan Lindsay, Aug. 21, the Justin Hogg Band on Aug. 22, The Abrams, Garrett Gregory and Justin Hogg Band, Aug. 23 and  the Chris Buck band and Karac Hendriks performing, Aug. 24.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Lethbridge College Student’s Association, Aug. 23 is students night with discounted tickets for anyone with a valid student’s ID. That will result in money being donated back to the Student’s Association to improve student life on campus.

 Admission to all concerts is included in gate admission, however, there are also 500 seat priority tickets for the bigger shows.

“That is for the superfans, who are willing to pay a premium price and want to be right next to the stage and want to have shorter lines to the washrooms and  bar,”  said Warkentin, who returns home to Lethbridge  after working with the Northlands Exhibition in Edmonton. Those ticket prices vary according to on the show.

These special tickets can be purchased in advance online, for approximately $20 -$25 depending on the show, which also includes Whoop Up Days admission.
ExVIP tickets go on sale, April 4, with general admission tickets  on sale, April 5.

There is plenty of action on the midway as well with Tech Arial Tech, theatrical circus performers, partner acrobats, jugglers, aerialist and stilt walkers Mango and Dango and the Adventures of the Flying Umbrella Ship perform daily as doesDan the One Man Band and President’s Choice Superdogs’ new show Acrobark performing throughout each day.Sam Roberts returns to Lethbridge For Whoop Up Days, Aug. 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 Comedic hypnotist Roger Boucher will perform family friendly shows during the day and more adult oriented comedic hypnotism at night.

“That will give you something to talk about over the water cooler the next day,” Warkentin chuckled.
JJ First Charger will be performing demonstrations of First Nations fancy dancing, hoop dancing, singing and drumming throughout the day.

 And the traveling exhibit Venom explores the worlds of venomous creatures. And West Coast Amusements returns to supply midway rides and games.

“It’s going to be an exciting event,” Warkentin said.

“We’ve partnered with Trixstar to come up with the best line-up that we could to appeal to a wide range of people,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Walk Off the Earth and Lil Jon. He’s a real character,” he said.

“I’ve worked with all of these artists before, ” said Brennan McFaul of Trixstar promotions.

“ I’ve worked with  the Arkells before when they were playing small clubs and now they’re performing big  festivals,” McFaul said.

Warkentin noted there will be additional security possibly including bag searches and metal detectors.

“That’s not in response to any particular event here. But things have happened at other festivals,” Warkentin said.

Bucking and Barrels returns for rodeo fans as well.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:03 )  
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