Derry Hunley is bringing Blender, his successful event showcasing local musicians in various genres, to the McPherson Playhouse on Dec. 20 for a family-friendly, holiday show featuring performances from Man Made Lake, Distant Grand, The Brass, Malahat and DJ Mikey B. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Derry Hunley is bringing Blender, his successful event showcasing local musicians in various genres, to the McPherson Playhouse on Dec. 20 for a family-friendly, holiday show featuring performances from Man Made Lake, Distant Grand, The Brass, Malahat and DJ Mikey B. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Blender, the long running Victoria music showcase takes over the Mac on Dec. 20

After eight years at Lucky Bar, local bands take the McPherson Playhouse stage

What happens when you mix together local musicians, a beautiful 103-year-old local theatre and the holiday season?

A perfect blend.

Many in the local music scene are already familiar with Blender, the monthly event that has given everyone from rappers to metal heads a spot on the stage at Lucky Bar for eight years running. But now, co-founder and producer Derry Hunley is upping the ante and giving four local bands the chance to grace the McPherson Playhouse stage for Blender at The Mac, a night of stellar local music.

“Blender started with me and a friend,” Hunley explains. “I was in a rap group, she was in a folk group and we got a DJ and just performed one night.”

Eight years ago, blending genres wasn’t so common, but now that hundreds of acts have found themselves on the Blender bill, it’s turned into a staple of the Victoria music scene, he says.

A longtime employee of the Royal and McPherson Theatre family, Hunley pitched the idea to management at the Mac, who were excited to partner with the producer.

“I think it’s a great way to get a new audience into the theatre,” he says. “We’re an artistic town and local music is just really thriving.”

Hunley has made a point of keeping Blender affordable and the $5 cover he charges at Lucky Bar hasn’t increased since the night started, but for the comfy seats at the classic theatre, tickets are $10.

On the bill Dec. 20 are indie rockers Man Made Lake alongside dance-rock outfit Distant Grand, 19-piece community band The Brass and classic rockers Malahat.

“It’s like you swear you’re watching Robert Plant,” Hunley says of the latter foursome. “They’re young but it’s so authentically classic.”

DJ Mikey B will round out a night that Hunley says is family-friendly: “Bring the kids, grab a beer and enjoy some great local talent.”

Seating is general admission for the evening and tickets are available online at RMTS.bc.ca, by phone at 250-386-6121, at the Royal and McPherson box offices and at the door on Dec. 20.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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