The Enchanted Hidden Forest

There is a buzz in Kelowna this time of year as people get excited about which festivals they plan to attend. Outdoor music festival culture in BC is unique. There is so much vast land to host such incredibly diverse and intimate productions. The passion and work of those who make them happen is remarkable. For those attending, these festivals are often a highlight of the year. We are truly spoiled.

Many of these events take place within a 30 to 60 minute drive of downtown Kelowna. They have minimal advertising and attract and “those who know” crowd and those who know like to keep the knowledge of these events a little underground.

There are typically no age restrictions at the shows and “party safe and have fun” is the attitude of all. There is a hired security team and a sense of everyone looking out for one another and making sure everyone is having fun. This attracts huge numbers of people who can attend with their older sisters or younger brothers, who often experience their first big event with live music. Some of the highlights at these festivals include live DJs, bands, MCs, and vocalist, huge stage productions with art pieces, incredible lighting and sound, live visuals, and room to dance. There are other things like hookah lounges, puppet shows, and a vendors’ area with great food, clothing, jewelry, hats, beads, and the likes of. Daytime workshops are scheduled for those looking to share and connect about things like spiritual healing, yoga, perhaps learn a little more about digital art and music. There are a whole bunch of how-to type classes on hula hooping, beading, Reiki massage, MCing and DJing basics, and all this is included in the admission price. It is truly amazing what a group of like-minded people can share.

Hidden2010 took place a few weeks ago. A large team of Kelowna event hosts teamed up to create edition number 4 of this music festival where urban arts and digital music come alive, only in the deep woods of BC and this year private land in Beaverdell was the playground. Folks from Kelowna arrived by the hundreds on Thursday afternoon to set up their prime camping spots. They met up with their friends from neighboring communities like Nelson, Grand Forks, Penticton, etc… Performers and festival-goers from as far East as Calgary and as far West as Vancouver made the long trek into the show. One of the highlight performances took place Friday night as France’s Dirty Phonics took to the stage with their 2 DJ and 1 MC live act. The performers were just as enthralled as the crowd. Their MC felt the love and said: “We can’t believe you people built this incredible show in the middle of nowhere. We’re in a forest! Look at all of you amazing people!” I couldn’t believe I was catching of the world’s best DJ acts live near Kelowna. A Hip Hop showcase on Saturday afternoon kept the daytime busy with rhymes, beats, break dancing, and live graffiti art. Saturday night played to host an array of favorites including Mat The Alien, Smalltown DJs, and Fresh Baked DJs who are all Shambhala Music Festival performers this summer. Hidden-goers came together for three days and two nights to celebrate the beginning of summer and dance under a starry sky and it was a darn good time.

Up next in the festival circuit in the Kelowna area is my pick of summer: Rustic Robot, also into its fourth year, which is taking place on Saturday July 24 in the back woods between Kelowna and Penticton. Local performers include awesome metal band DFY (my neighbours!) and Poor Little Rich Girl and DJs Chaosphere, DeeBass, and many others. Find them on Facebook in your Kelowna network.

If you want to enjoy dancing under the stars, look for information in underground. Hemp City on Bernard Ave is usually a hub of details as is a multitude of Facebook listings. Also, head to The Grateful Fed every Thursday night for Basswave with live locals DJs. These folk also know about the festivals, so make a friend, dance, and get your camping gear together for a summer of fun. There are a few more outdoor events coming up in August and we will take a peek at those in a future A-OK entry.

-JGirl

Photos by: Darth Raver and Tomas A.


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