FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The second FredFest—a family-run music festival featuring local artists—is shifting into gear on the northern bank of the Peace river, just outside of town.

Fred McCrae, one of the event’s organizers and its namesake, is excited to welcome guests onto the family’s land to celebrate country music and local artists.

“Our main focus is local music and local talent,” McCrae said. Acts include Kyle McKearney, The Montney Coulees Band, and Tom Cole and the Ridge Riders, among others.

Acts lined up for the 2nd Annual FredFest include Kyle McKearney and The Montney Coulees Band, among others.

Held just outside of Fort St. John from August 19th to 20th, the festival will be set up on private land next to the Peace Valley Lookout at the southern end of 100th street.

A stage will sit in a tidy glade surrounded by tall poplar trees. Camping spots will be available both throughout the wood and in a meadow overlooking the Peace river valley. 

“There’s lots of room to camp with holiday trailers or tents– doesn’t matter. We’ve got lots of room.” McCrae said. “We can look after everyone.”

The road to the festival grounds and the view from the meadows where campers can park during FredFest’s second annual event.

Food trucks will also attend the event. 

FredFest began in 2020, when pandemic restrictions pressured people to socialize, if they did so, outside. Fluctuating restrictions kept the festival from taking place in 2021. 

Organizers hope that the second event will go as well as the first—which was animated by a reprieve from the pandemic. This year adds several additional acts and another full night of music.

“I’m hoping that people have the same enthusiasm as two years ago,” McCrae said, “When we finally got out of the house and got to smile and talk to each other and have a little fun.”

After a year-long break, the festival will run again this month. McCrae hopes that the event can become a regular annual one, but says it depends on the response they receive from the community.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.