Vancouver Island MusicFest will be returning to the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds in 2022.

The in-person event has been scheduled for July 8-10 after the past two festivals were held online.

“I’m very excited,” said Doug Cox, Vancouver Island MusicFest executive producer and artistic director. “It feels like the family is coming back together. It’s been a long couple years for those of us involved with the fest. Over the time of COVID-19, I’ve talked to quite a few folks and heard so many heart-warming stories about the festival and how important it is to them.”

The plan is to currently limit ticket sales to 75 per cent capacity in 2022.

“We’re not going to try to change too much because we know who we are as a festival,” said Cox. “We’re going to try as hard as possible to come back as we always have with a really diverse mixture of music and community. I should say that people will have to be vaccinated. We will be following whatever the protocols are at that point.”

There will be no barn stage, which was the only indoor stage at the festival.

“We hope to bring the barn back for 2023,” said Cox. “Hopefully the world will be back to normal.”

Cox said they plan on booking a lot of local and Canadian artists to fill the lineup.

“Canadian artists desperately need support. There is a lot less risk involved right now with booking people who don’t have to cross a border. We don’t know what the border laws are going to be at that time. We will probably have 40 acts this year. We normally start announcing performers in January. We may start a little bit earlier this year. ”

Tickets will go on sale Dec. 1. People will be able to use the tickets they purchased for 2020’s cancelled festival in 2022.

“So many people have held onto their tickets when we cancelled and we’re still here largely because so many people did that,” said Cox. “It kept us going. A lot of festivals had to refund just about all the tickets they had sold. That put a couple of them out of business. We were really lucky.”