Breakout West a success

Organizers of the Breakout West music festival say this year's was the best weekend in the festival's 16-year history.

The four-day, three-night festival, conference and awards ceremony was held in Kelowna this past weekend, hosting more than 60 bands and 280 music industry professionals.

Robyn Stewart, executive director of the festival, said the weekend was “fantastic.”

“Kelowna embraced the event like crazy, and it was, I would say, the best one we've had yet,” Stewart said.

A $15 wristband gave attendees access to all the shows across the 10 venues in downtown Kelowna over the three nights. The 1,200 wristbands were sold out by Saturday, and another 300 people bought tickets at the door at some of the bigger venues.

“The city really came out for it and had a great time,” Stewart said. “Everything went very smooth, and the city just worked really well for this event.”

The event has been held in larger cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg in the past, but Stewart says Kelowna's smaller downtown core worked well for the festival layout.

“Everything's walkable, which makes it really accessible for people to go to multiple venues and see multiple acts throughout the night,” Stewart said.

While the public enjoyed the three nights of music, artists attended educational conference sessions throughout the weekend, and those in the industry took in the shows, looking to connect with new artists.

Breakout West was last held in Kelowna in 2010. 

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