Bret Michaels is beyond excited to return to perform at CannaFest, Canada’s premiere classic rock festival in Grand Forks set for Aug. 8 to 10.
“We had an amazing time last year and this year we’re just going to take it up a notch,” he said in a phone interview with The Okanagan Weekend.
Michaels caps off the three-day festival, taking the stage Aug. 10 at 10 p.m.
“We’re going to have a party on that stage,” he said. “We’re going to bring everyone up at the end of the night to sing and have a great time.”
Michaels first rose to fame as the lead singer of Poison before going solo. With three generations of fans, Michaels has had record breaking touring sales and sold over 32 million records.
Playing live is in his soul and Michaels is passionate about performing on stage.
“If you’ve seen a Bret Michaels’ show, it’s a party,” he said. “We mix all the Poison hits with all the recent Bret Michaels Band hits. We put them all together in the show seamlessly.”
Michaels loves being a dad and is proud of his daughters Raine and Jorja.
Raine, a broadcast and journalist major at university, is one of the finalists for this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit model of the year.
“If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to go for it,” he recalled telling his daughter. “My philosophy is always this — have fun, but get it done.”
Michaels wrote his latest song, Unbroken, with his youngest daughter Jorja when she was going through some growing pains.
Michaels suggested they sit down and capture how she was feeling in words and put it to music.
“Music isn’t always about upbeat songs,” he told her.
Although it was about a tough time, the pair made Unbroken a positive song with a light at the end of the tunnel.
For Michaels, it’s an amazing feeling to have a song that inspires others to battle adversity.
“Those songs that are emotionally tough to write usually are the ones that hit home the longest and the deepest,” he said.
Michaels is no stranger to adversity as he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at six years old.
“Attitude and gratitude change everything,” said Michaels. “The attitude you have about how you’re going to handle adversity is what eventually makes you who you are and usually helps you to succeed at whatever business or personal path you choose.”
Philanthropy has been an important part of Michaels’ life as he watched his parents help build the first diabetic youth camp in central Pennsylvania where he got to meet other kids with diabetes.
Along with donating money to diabetes awareness and research, Michaels supports causes including childhood cancer, wounded warriors and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“Wherever we play we find a great charity to be able to say thank you and leave something awesome behind in that particular city or town,” he said.
He will do the same thing in Grand Forks.
Unless the authorities call the show, Michaels will be on stage playing in the sun, the rain or the snow.
For him, the thrill of performing on stage is the payoff for the hard work and travel to get there.
You’ll never hear Michaels complain, because it’s the business he chose to be in and he’s thankful to three generations of fans for letting him live out his dream.
“I love playing music, I love travelling, I love partying and hanging with the fans. That’s what it is for me,” said Michaels. “It never gets old.”
CannaFest runs Aug. 8 to 10 in Grand Forks, B.C. with artists including Cheap Trick, the Beach Boys and Vince Neil, the voice of Mötley Crüe.
For a complete list of performers and to buy tickets, go online to cannafest. ca.