Fest appeals to all

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August 4, 2016 12:00 AM

Lloydminster's own The Tarp Kickers will be hitting the stage at this year's Dog Patch Music Festival, which will take place Aug. 5 to 7 in Whelan, Sask.

The president of the Dog Patch Music Festival, Marc Butler, wants people to slow down, stop and focus on what’s important.
That’s the whole idea behind the festival, which is going into its third year this summer from Aug. 5 to 7, offering a variety of entertainment he said will appeal to people right across the age spectrum.
“Families,  friends, just literally taking the time to hang out with one another; that’s the main basis behind this whole thing,” Butler said.
“It’s like stepping back in time 30 years and really enjoying nature, the people around you, I have no cell service out there—you can’t use them, good luck, their phones are useless to them unless it’s for the camera, so they’re forced to talk to one another.”
The Dog Patch Music Festival has a strong focus on children’s entertainment as well, with separate programs just for kids, so parents don’t have to leave them behind when they go to the event.
Butler said he wants to show people festival culture isn’t all dope and booze, but can be more about just connecting with one another and making memories.
That doesn’t mean it’s a dry event, however, as there’ll be the token beer gardens he said are ubiquitous at Saskatchewan events.
“This is solely based really on the family idea, it’s based on people from one to 100, so there’s not going to be anything there that’s going to offend anybody, like I said, we still have our beer gardens and stuff,” he said.
“But it’s really just to gather community together, because there’s such a loss of community right now.”
There’ll be 20-plus bands playing on two stages, with names like The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, The Dead South, and Colter Wall, son of the Saskatchewan Premier.
The bands cover a variety of styles from bluegrass and blues to rock and country and D.J. Market Mall from Saskatoon will be onsite to provide some after hours entertainment when the live acts leave the stages.
Some acts from Lloydminster will be playing at the festival as well, like Poor Bill and also the Tarp Kickers.
The Tarp Kicker’s drummer, Brian Earl, said the band hasn’t played the festival before and is looking forward to the experience.
“This is going to be our first year and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, just a small community based festival,” said Earl.
“It should be a lot of fun just playing another festival and meeting new people and experiencing what this festival has to offer, because every festival and show you play has a different feel to it, different people, they’re always fun in their own way; it’s always exciting to play something new.”
The event, which saw numbers of attendance climb from 300 to 1,000 in its first to second year, also works as a fundraiser with a percentage of proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Foundation.
Butler’s father is ex-military, so he wants to help people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that’s why he chose Wounded Warriors as the beneficiary of the event. 
The Dog Patch Music Fest was actually inspired by an event his parents used to hold in the early ‘80s called the Dog Patch Pig Roast, something that brought people in the community together, and he wanted to continue that kind of legacy.
“I wanted to do the same thing in 2012, 2013, and I thought, well you know what, maybe I should do a pig roast, because I noticed the community was really divided; people weren’t doing stuff together anymore,” he said.
“We used to have gymkhanas and dances, (but since then) nothing’s happened, so I said to heck with it, let’s get something going so that we can bring the community back together.”
So the event started as a pig roast, but because of Butler’s love of music festivals, he grew it into what it’s become today, but despite the changes, the goal remains the same: bringing people together.
It’s this community mindedness that’s driven organizers to make sure there are lots of activities for the family outside of the bands, like a volleyball tournament and music workshops for the children.
There will be a little stage for some theatre, where people will put on some plays for the younger attendees, as well as face painting and a parade where children will get to make their own costumes to wear.
“We’re about having a celebration that everybody can enjoy and it’s good clean family fun,” Butler said.
“We really are trying to make a long lasting impact, bringing people together in a family environment, that’s the whole reason behind all this.”
For more information or to buy tickets, visit: www.dpmf.ca.

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