MUSIC: PraiseFest tests Cloverdale’s Stetson Bowl as concert site Saturday

CLOVERDALE — The Stetson Bowl hasn’t played host to many concerts over the years, so this weekend’s PraiseFest is a bit of a test run for the venue.

Up to 10,000 people could fill the rodeo facility at Cloverdale Fairgrounds for the faith-based event on Saturday (Aug. 1), with Toby Mac, Peter Furler, Dan Bremnes and others hitting the two stages.

The $28-a-ticket festival is brought to Surrey by Washington State-based concert producer Lowell MacGregor as an event branded for local Christian radio station Praise 106.5.

Planning for PraiseFest began four months ago, MacGregor told the Now.

“It’s going to be a big event, and what it’s going to do, in my belief, is kind of reinvent the Stetson Bowl,” he said.

“I don’t think the general populace in that area really knows what the Stetson Bowl is,” MacGregor added, “and that’s been one of my uphill battles, to educate people about what it is. The way I look at that facility is, it’s going to be a great place to hold this concert, and we just have to get one of these under our belts to show people that it will be a real showplace.”

The Stetson Bowl is capable of holding close to 10,000 people, with around 4,200 of those seated in the grandstands.

Caretakers of Cloverdale Fairgrounds will film and photograph PraiseFest as part of efforts to showcase the Stetson Bowl to event planners.

“We want to tell people that yes, you can do this and this and that on our fairgrounds,” said Mike MacSorley, the facility’s GM.

“We’ve talked amongst ourselves here about using the whole site as a country music venue, as opposed to people going out of town for that sort of stuff” he added. “With the stage at the millennium amphitheatre, the Agriplex and Stetson Bowl, we’re hoping eventually a promoter will look at doing something bigger on our site. In a way, we’re showcasing it, but really we’re in the business of renting our facilities to whoever comes to us.”

(Story continues below video of Toby Mac’s "Speak Life" song)


In addition to music, PraiseFest will feature a petting zoo, rides, bounce houses, exhibits and, as MacGregor put it, “because it’s faith-based, we’ll have pastors on stage sharing gospel between sets, as a bit of cement to tie it all together.… If you’re a believer, it will be the place to be that day.”

The attendance goal for the festival is 10,000, he said Friday, “but that’s touch and go. We’ll see.… I originally thought we’d do 15,000, but I think we had a lot of obstacles, including starting late, we’re doing the event in a place nobody has ever done a concert, other than maybe Lollapalooza two decades ago. And we’re doing it on BC Day weekend, on which a lot of people have already made plans. I think next year we will hit that goal (of 15,000 attendance). Nobody wants a ‘one and done’ event here, including the people at Cloverdale Fairgrounds.”

Other performers at PraiseFest include Love & The Outcome, Red, Matthew West, Joel Reimer, Alana Klatt, Oh Village, Lavoy, Flood the Stone, Brian Doerksen and the SHIYR Poets and Shylo Sharity. For more show details and tickets, call 1-855-443-8499 or visit

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Most Read