Country fans will get a tribute performance to Merle Haggard at this summer’s Dauphin’s Countryfest.
The late Haggard, who passed away on April 6 on his 79th birthday, will be honoured by his sons Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard, along with his longtime band, The Strangers, on July 3.
“You cannot replace an icon like Merle Haggard,” said Countryfest promoter Rob Waloschuk. “We couldn’t think of a better way to pay homage to the life of this prolific singer/songwriter than to have his family and friends perform a tribute concert.”
Country music legend Merle Haggard is slated to appear at Dauphin’s Countryfest this summer.
The three-time Grammy winner is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. It will be his first appearance at the Manitoba country music festival.
“Dauphin’s Countryfest can’t wait to bring the ‘Okie From Muskogee’ to our festival for the first time in our 27 years. This 78-year-old country music icon is sure to deliver a unique performance like only ‘The Hag’ can,” said Eric Irwin, the festival’s president.
The 26th annual Dauphin’s Countryfest is going down as one of the best weekends on record.
Organizers say the festival, which ran June 25-28, had a daily attendance of about 12,000 people. They’re also appreciative of the balmy temperatures.
“Sunshine really makes the festival a happier place,” said Eric Irwin, the festival’s president. “The freakish amount of rain we got last year was extreme to say the least, and it affected people’s spirits. All you can do is come back again and hope for better weather — and we definitely got that this year.”
Sixty bands performed on three stages over a four-day period.
Country music fans are singing their sorrows after Brad Paisley cancelled his appearance at Dauphin’s Countryfest next summer.
Singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert has been named as the replacement on the ticket.
“Announcing a confirmed artist is something we take very seriously,” said Rob Waloschuk, promoter of Dauphin’s Countryfest. “Our policy is to announce artists only once we have received confirmation from their management to do so. Sometimes circumstances are out of our control, and unfortunately, Brad Paisley, who had confirmed his performance at the 2015 Dauphin’s Countryfest, has had to cancel his date with us, due to unforeseeable scheduling conflicts during the weekend of June 25-28, 2015.”
Concert-goers headed to Dauphin’s Countryfest got another ticket besides their gate admission on Wednesday.
RCMP patrolling Highway 10 leading to the festival handed out 40 speeding tickets during the afternoon. A ticket for not wearing a seatbelt and another for operating a cell phone behind the wheel were also doled out.
The line-up of vehicles was reported to stretch two kilometres to the gates. The festival itself didn’t start until today.