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It's a big year for local music as the Back 40 Festival prepares for its 30th anniversary.

Saturday, the Back 40 held its celebration fundraiser for its summer concert and recognized the legendary music event Woodstock's 50th anniversary.

Dozens of artists performed throughout the night at the P.W. Enns Centennial Concert Hall in Winkler; the Mood, Jenessa Kehler, Frank MacLean, Link and the Moustaches to Caleb Vallelly and his band, shares Chairperson Scott Bell. Artists from different generations playing tribute to dozens of artists who performed at Woodstock 50 years ago.

Reflecting on his own experiences as a young musician, Bell says the Back 40 has always been a chance for budding performers to showcase their works to an audience.

"We're committed to doing the same, we've had performers up on our stage as young as six years old that are up there performing with other young performers. We have a lot of teenagers and early 20's musicians that have been coming out and sharing their music; that's all been wonderful."

None of the current board members were around during the inception of the festival, but Bell says the board is pleased to be playing their part now in moving the festival forward, continuing to provide opportunities for local artists.

To keep moving forward, Bell says they have some new blood, bringing in fresh, original ideas.

"We have some new board members that have come on in the last year, and they certainly help breath new life into the festival and the preparations for it. We're committed to providing music throughout the year, but also putting on a quality festival."

Bell adds the festival is only possible through volunteer help, and as a nonprofit organization is to keep homemade music alive in Southern Manitoba.

During the event, they also announced the line up for the homemade music festival this summer.

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