A Kelowna musician helped kick off last weekend’s annual Fireside Festival Saturday afternoon, which created a cozy environment for patrons to enjoy.
Kelowna’s winter music festival, organized by Aaron DeSilva, is now in its sixth year and is centred around local musicians.
Garrett Scatterty, who performed at Bean Scene downtown, is in the midst of releasing his debut solo album Jack of Hearts. His new single Wisdom Teeth, was released Saturday on bandcamp. He’s been involved in the festival since its inception when it was “still a house party,” he said.
Aside from giving the public a chance to watch local acts, the festival also gives musicians an opportunity to socialize and collaborate.
“This is kind of a chance for everyone to be in the same building at the same time and appreciate each other’s music,” Scatterty said.
The festival has grown into a weekend event, starting at Bean Scene Saturday afternoon, before wrapping up Sunday night at BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery.
“It’s like the cure for the winter blues. You get out from (under) the grey and it’s just a really warm, inviting environment. It’s like Christmas for us musicians,” Scatterty said.
With the closure of venues around Kelowna, including The Habitat and The Grateful Fed, festivals like these are needed now more than ever, he said.
“That’s kind of the way the music industry has been going. It’s more in the way of the artists themselves. We can’t rely on other people to do anything for us. So putting on events like this that are a little more privatized I think is a good way to overcome the downfalls of the industry and the venues that are having a hard time keeping their doors open.”
Despite the closure of music venues, Scatterty said Kelowna is a welcoming place for musicians.
“The Grateful Fed is closed now, but for us, (more than six) years ago, that was kind of the spot where all the local starting musicians got together. It allowed us to show each other that we do, and that’s where we got our gigs from there… I think there are enough stepping stones in this town that it’s a great place to start breaking into the music scene,” he said.
Charlotte Augustine, owner of Bean Scene downtown’s location on Bernard Avenue, said she was happy to provide the space for the musicians.
“It means the world to me, to have a space, it’s essentially why I wanted to come into this massive space in the first place, I knew there was a demand and a need for local music and local talent in Kelowna, because there aren’t a lot of spaces for people to perform and this is perfect for that,” said Augustine.
“It just made sense to collaborate, to have this and have all the artists perform… it’s something different, to have on the weekends.”
It just brings the community together, not one person has a grumpy face,” she said.