For sale

Realty signs go up at Rollo Bay fes­ti­val grounds

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEVE SHARRATT

Fam­ily look­ing to sell Rollo Bay Fid­dle Fes­ti­val grounds.

The fid­dle king­dom of Prince Ed­ward Is­land is up for sale.

A sign ham­mered into the ground at the end of the lane in­di­cates the fa­mous Rollo Bay Fid­dle Fes­ti­val grounds — host­ing the 39th fes­ti­val this week­end — is up for grabs for the very first time.

“This is re­ally quite a cul­tural cen­tre for the en­tire province and it comes as a bit of sur­prise,” said Mon­tague re­al­tor Brad Oliver.

“I guess we can only hope some­one takes it over . . . the fam­ily wants to sell it as a pack­age.”

The pack­age in­cludes 60 acres, the stage and all the out­build­ings in the am­phithe­atre-shaped prop­erty in Rollo Bay, a few miles west of Souris.

The fes­ti­val has been a haven for fid­dlers and mu­sic lovers for al­most four decades and has been graced with some of the finest in the fiddlin’ world, from Howie Mac­Don­ald, Richard Wood and Natalie MacMaster.

The fes­ti­val sprouted in 1976 when fid­dle mu­sic was on the wane and orig­i­nal founder Joe Chais­son and fam­ily mem­bers hoped to re­vive the old-time mu­sic amongst the young peo­ple.

Over the past few decades the three-day fes­ti­val has been pro­pelled largely by fid­dler Peter Chais­son along with an as­sort­ment of broth­ers, cousins, nieces and neph­ews.

It’s been a well-tuned mu­si­cal mecca for the past 40 years, but as one fam­ily mem­ber said, that racks up a lot of mileage and older over­seers are run­ning out of gas.

“I con­tacted the province about it,’’ said Oliver.

“They may have an in­ter­est in the prop­erty.”

The acreage is listed for $350,000, roughly the same price as some of the lux­u­ri­ous mo­torhomes that filled the grounds only two weeks ago for the an­nual Blue­grass Fes­ti­val.

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