Geddes: Komasket Music Festival celebrates 10th

August long weekend is here. I’m sure by now, most of you have weighed your options of how to spend your 3.5 days of weekend, whether it be camping, attending one of the numerous events happening around the valley or just plunking yourself down at the beach.

Although we all know that Center of Gravity is happening right here in Kelowna, if you missed the boat on buying tickets before it sold out (or it just isn’t your scene) there is another great festival happening a quick drive away in Vernon.

Komasket Music Festival is taking place in Komasket Park (Vernon) from July 29 to 31 and this year celebrates its 10th and biggest year yet.

The festival weekend offers three days of bringing attendees together to celebrate joy, love, music, dance, art, culture and family on the beautiful shores of Okanagan Lake. Take the awesome scenery along with the friendly, loving atmosphere and then throw into the mix four stages, more than 40 artists, camping, a Yoga Zone, a Kids Zone, vendors, art installations, swimming, kayaking and 25 free workshops ranging from drumming to poi spinning, and I think you have yourself one fabulous August long weekend.

This year’s line-up will feature Jon Anderson (yes, the owner of a lonely heart), Buffy St. Marie, OKA, Digable Planets, Sweatshop Union, Tambura Rasa and Kytami from Delhi 2 Dublin, to name a few.

There will also be plenty of Okanagan talent present including Cod Gone Wild, Paperboy, Sound Splash and Lorelle Raindown.

Devaki Thomas, Komasket’s artistic director, wanted to bring back some of the favourite artists from the past nine years in addition to this year’s first time artists to create a lineup for their 10-year anniversary that would start a buzz.

“The slogan ‘Okanagan’s world music and dance celebration’ reflects the festival’s increasingly diverse line-up, which is attracting more international, national and regional performing artists of high acclaim, positioning Vernon on the cultural map,” Thomas said.

The Komasket Music Festival was founded in 2002 under the direction of Thomas and Devaki Thomas of local reggae band Samsara after being offered the land by Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) member Mollie Bono for the purpose of playing a concert.

The site was set aside by OKIB elders three decades ago for the purpose of community gatherings like Powwows and it was designated drug and alcohol free.

A giant log arbor was constructed which has protected seating for hundreds of people and a stage and lighting for performances.

The site is on Okanagan Lake and boasts many large open fields which are ideal for camping, so the idea of a festival on this site was fitting.

The couple invited many fellow artists to play, including Vancouver’s beat boxer Kinnie Star. Representatives from the B.C. Native Women’s Society and many local art enthusiasts volunteered to assist in creating a festival. The attendance was 1,200 and the festival has continued to grow in a positive way since then.

Today is the last day for $95 weekend passes (camping extra). Tomorrow prices go up to $120 and will be sold at the gate only. A great plus for those with wee ones, children 14 and under get in for free.

Tickets are available at www.ticketseller.com.

So if you’re still wondering what to do with your long weekend, take a trip down to Komasket and you probably won’t ever have to wonder what you’ll be doing on August long weekend again.

For more information on Komasket Music Festival, visit www.komasketmusicfestival.com.

Pyper Geddes is the general manager of Habitat and an A-OK contributor.




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