Keloha Music and Arts Festival 2013

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Kealoha is a Hawaiian word which translates to “The Love”. The Keloha Music and Arts Festival is beautiful people coming together and creating magical moments under the hot Okanagan sun. This 3-day, all-ages festival is an all-weekend extravaganza of love, art, and good vibes. Over 30 talented musical acts share two stages in Waterfront Park, serenading and making dreams come true. The grassy knolls of the Island Stage provides a natural amphitheatre complete with shady trees to sit under when the heat starts to take its toll on you and The Sandbar Stage, located on the beach, is perfect for rolling out a towel and digging your feet in the hot sand. Or, you can cool off in the refreshing waters of the Okanagan Lake.

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Yukon Blonde

Between the stages there was plenty else for you to see and do. Lakeside Lounge and Paradise Beach provided a tropical get away for adults wanting to indulge themselves with an intoxicating tonic. VIP pass holders could skip the line-up and enter Paradise, an exclusive area complete with tables and private port-a-potties. Sponsors Big Surf and Palm Bay provided the perfect tropical summer brews for the sun drenched fiesta.

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The Trews

If you were a Hungry Patron you could make a trip to the Food Plaza where an assortment of vendors sold mini-donuts, hamburgers, tacos, pizza-by-the-slice, and more. Everyone’s favorite neighbourhood restaurant Kelly O’Bryan’s was even on hand to sell their famed Pachos. My favorite lunchtime item was the Bronco Burger from the Good Stuff Foods vendor with their reasonable prices.

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MUTEMATH

Those with a creative side could visit Art Avenue, a stretch of space between the Sandbar Stage and Food Plaza, which hosted drop-in yoga, paddle boarding, sandcastle building, gymnastic performances, and interactive art installations. The sidewalk was even transformed into a giant chalk canvas for the public to express themselves on. Installations included pyramids in the sand, and a volcano frothing bubbles.

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Dear Rouge

Sunset Way, the path between the Food Plaza and Island Stage, became home to a small village of vendor tents where small businesses sold clothing, accessories, and more. The tent I spent most of my time at was the Merchandise Tent where you could buy CD’s and T-Shirts from your favorite bands at the festival.

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Mindil Beach Markets

Keloha’s gates opened at 3pm on July 5th and officially kicked-off with DJ Invizible, aka Kevin Moore, who performed a set and worked between scenes throughout the course of the three days, spinning mixes that kept your ears humming with sweet music. The Sandbar Stage was not open on this day. The complete line-up for Friday went like this:

DJ Invizible

Willhorse

Yukon Blonde

Cults

The Trews

MUTEMATH

My personal favorites of the first day were hometown heroes Yukon Blonde and The Trews, a Canadian rock band from Nova Scotia. Headlining the evening was American alternative rock band Mutemath, coming all of the way from New Orleans to rock your world.

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Fields of Green

After sundown you could catch even more acts at one of the various after parties which were happening around town at Doc Willoughby’s, Fernando’s, Level, and Sapphire. Non-festival goers could attend these shows for a small charge at the doors, or they could purchase a wristband for $45 at the front gate of Keloha.  After Party wristbands waived the cover fees and guaranteed you entrance into any after party venue before 10:30pm.

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The Zolas

On Saturday and Sunday Keloha’s gates opened at 12pm, with both stages in full swing. Running back and forth I split my time between seeing Fields of Green and The Zolas at the Island Stage and Dear Rouge and Mindil Beach Markets at the Sandbar Stage on Saturday morning. The Sandbar Stage closed at 6pm with Canadian rapper Shad topping it off. Saturday’s line-up looked like this:

Island Stage

The Malibu Knights

Damn Fools

Fields of Green

Gold & Youth

The Zolas

Arkells

Atlas Genius

Matt & Kim

Sandbar Stage

DJ CFAL

Rococode

Dear Rouge

Mindil Beach Markets

Humans

Shad

Indie Pop duo Matt and Kim closed off the Island Stages line-up at 9pm with crazy antics and silly behaviour that made for a phenomenal show. Hundreds of balloons were released into the crowd, Kim twerked above heads and stomped atop her drum kit, Matt fell into the moat of water surrounding the stage, and all the lights were shut down while the audience lit up the night with lighters and cell phones.

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Atlas Genius

On Sunday morning the Brooklyn duo Tanlines were forced to cancel their performance due to unforeseeable circumstances and The Matinee were switched from the Sandbar Stage to the Island Stage to fill their spot. Taking The Matinee’s place at the Sandbar Stage was the hard rock band One Bad Son from Saskatchewan.  Wild Son and The Boom Booms bookended the line-up at the Sandbar stage with crowded shows.

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Current Swell

With the Sandbar Stage now closed I made my way back to the Island Stage with the crowd to catch the final 3 acts of the festival. Current Swell was another awesome high energy show, and so was Capital Cities. Lead man of Scott Stanton of Current Swell showed off his skill by playing his guitar on his lap and using the cable running to his amp to replicate strumming with a whipping motion while holding the guitar high above his head. Capital Cities had the crowd riled up and twirling articles of clothing above their heads in frenzy. The most well-known and mainstream act, American psychedelic synth pop band MGMT, performed for the finale. The complete Sunday line-up looked like this:

Island Stage

Tyler Kinjo

JP Maurice

Wake Owl

Zerbin

The Matinee

Current Swell

Capital Cities

MGMT

Sandbar Stage

Opening DJ

Wild Son

Rocky Mountain Rebel Music

Washboard Union

One Bad Son

The Boom Booms

Overall, Keloha was a fantastic event and a lot of fun. Thanks goes out to Wet Ape Productions, who were able to bring such an expansive and great array of wonderful musicians to our humble little city, and to the innumerable volunteers who helped make the whole thing possible. I look forward to going back each and every year, and encourage everyone else to do the same.

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Spread Kealoha!

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