Hank Snow Tribute returns bigger and better than ever

by Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>The Hank Snow Tribute is back in Liverpool from August 17 - 20.</p>

The Hank Snow Tribute hits Liverpool on August 17 for their 27 annual event and this year's line up has a bit more of a feminine flair.

Kelly Inglis, co-chair of the Hank Snow Tribute, says that's not a coincidence. With one of their headliners focusing on songs from famous women in country music, the scales are a bit more even when it comes to gender.

"Our headliner is Lisa Brokop and she's doing the legendary ladies of country," said Inglis adding that the theme of the festival is Hank Snow and the Legendary Ladies of Country, which Brokop inspired.

"We usually have a lot more male performers and this year we have quite a few female performers and it's pretty cool."

Brokop is a Canadian Country Music Award winner and will perform music by artists like Lorretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline. Inglis says Snow played with some well known female artists as well in his day such as June and Mabel Carter and Carroll Baker.

A lot of the youth performers this year are young women as well, including local Autumn Carver from Middlefield who recently won South Shore Idol and opened for Terri Clark at the South Shore Exhibition.

Tribute goers can expect to see some local favourites such as Michelle Colp and Low Key, the Boe Boutilier Band, Catahoula Brown, David Burbine and Traditional Country, Amy Grant and It's All Relative, and Dale Verge and Doin' Country, as well as bands from across the Atlantic provinces and even as far away as Nashville.

A youth variety show as well as contests like the Sounds Like Hank contest and Best Dressed contest are also on tap this year.

The music takes place at Queens Place Emera Centre (QPEC), but as usual there will be plenty of jamming in the RV park next to the Hank Snow Museum.

Going strong

The festival is in its fifth year back in Liverpool after moving from the Bridgewater Exhibition grounds in 2013. It was a controversial move after the tribute spent years in Bridgewater, but it's one Inglis says has worked well for them.

"It was getting pretty stale in Bridgewater, the facility and the tribute itself was just kind of petering down and ever since we moved back to Liverpool in 2013 it's just gradually improved each year," said Inglis.

Inglis says ticket sales have increased each year and this year is shaping up to be their best yet.

"A lot of people were completely against it, moving back [to Liverpool]," said Inglis. "Just over and over have people tell you it's going to fail and then to have it be so successful. I still remember the first year of it being back here and people walking out of Queens Place Emera Centre and saying 'this was the best year ever.'"

Inglis says the event is mostly attended by seniors and having air conditioning, along with other facilities in the Liverpool area, helped immensely and Liverpool has definitely seen the benefit of hosting too.

Inglis says the Best Western, which is located directly across a parking lot from QPEC, fills up almost a year in advance of the four-day event.

For those who haven't been yet, Inglis says there's something for every country music fan.

"It's not all about Hank Snow, it's about country music, it's about locals having fun and jamming, and I think I say this every year, but it is like a big family reunion," laughed Inglis.

The Hank Snow Tribute returns August 17 - 20.

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