The ongoing summer weekend festival that is Music in the Landing is back in lower Gibsons this year, thanks largely to Kevin Crofton, who has stepped in to organize it all.
The job came open after longtime co-ordinator Verna Chan moved to Victoria earlier this year.
Crofton, an actor, musician, and social worker, credits Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish and perennial Music in the Landing helping-hand Dave Roughley for nudging him to take on the co-ordinating role. “Also, there’s been lots of good input and advice from the amazing (veteran arts organizer) Linda Williams, and (musician and technician) Peter Hill has been helping out as well,” Crofton told Coast Reporter. “So, I don’t feel like I’m doing it completely on my own.”
Due both to relatively late funding approval and lingering concerns about the pandemic, Music in the Landing has been pared down to Saturdays-only for 2021. In previous years it had also run Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
Crofton has booked a great lineup of local musicians all the way to Sept. 4. Among them, in no particular order, are Brazilian guitar maestro Celso Machado; Bits of String; reggae band Monty Montego and the Rocksteady Crew; Tongue N’ Groove, with Anna Lumiere, Sarah Noni, Graham Ord, John Rule, and Budge Schachte; the ever-popular Mimosa, featuring Lumiere, saxophonist Karen Graves, and friends; former Delhi 2 Dublin violinist Sara Fitzpatrick; the gritty blues of Georgia Fats; and the always-fun Billy Hillpicker Band. Crofton has also engaged his own trio, Martini Madness, which will feature guest vocalists Wendy Hibberd and Wanda Nowicki.
The Music in the Landing Facebook page will have the details on each Saturday’s acts.
Performances run for two hours, starting at 1 p.m. at Pioneer Square near the George Gibson statue, and at 7 p.m. at Winegarden Park.
There’s more to the co-ordinating job than booking acts. Crofton and a few helping hands also set up and later take down tents, seats, and the sound system at every gig. And it’s not like he needs something to do. Besides his own performance work, Crofton has a day job managing youth support programs on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
The co-ordinator task does come with a stipend, but it’s modest. “Yes, it’s a paid position,” said Crofton. “Although I wouldn’t want to translate it into an hourly wage.”