I had the pleasure of attending Keloha a few weekends ago. It’s a small yet pumping music and arts festival held in the heart of Kelowna at Waterfront Park. Prior to attending this festival I had never actually been to Kelowna, which is situated just over 4 hours north of Vancouver and I was surprised to discover it is actually quite a beautiful lake city. A lake city that just happens to be filled with a ridiculous amount of good looking people which was weird yet extremely delightful for my eyes. Now for 3 whole days I must admit I was pretty damn entertained even though I was sober 99% of the time (which is like a new world record for me) and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of talent that Wetape squeezed into the small festival grounds. I should also note that I was shooting with a Sony Cybershot like an uber weirdo in amongst a bunch of serious photographers. I lived through the shame to bring you this story so please keep that in mind while you are looking through the pics and judging!!
Day 1 – Mutemath. These guys seriously killed it!!! They sounded amazing, they put on an epic show and Paul Meany was a true champion when one crazed fan decided to jump on his blow up platform in the middle of his crowd surf. Now I’ll be honest I had no idea who they were prior to Keloha, but by the time they were done their set I was screaming like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert and ready to throw myself in front of their tour bus and beg for them to sign my boobs. Day 2 – Now it is really tough for me to a pick a favorite for day 2. I had the pleasure of interviewing Keith from Atlas Genius, who were amazing. but I will save my big AG rave for my next post and dedicate this section to the mind blowing MATT & KIM!!! Their show made me feel like I was watching two ADHD kids who had consumed a ton of espresso, run away from home, found instruments and then used those instruments to channel their energy into a ball of awesome which they threw directly at me. They interacted so well with their crowd. They made me feel like if I was ever going to have a threesome now was the time and that I should rush the stage and try to have it with them. I partied pretty hard after their show. I think everyone did, it was hard not too after being hit with the energy ball of awesome. Day 4 – Again there were a number of amazing acts on the last day of this festival but I can’t deny the fact that Capital Cities stole the show for me. I watched two self-proclaimed nerds transform from the Clark Kent’s I interviewed into super cool Supermen on stage. They were hip, had great energy, performed really fun remakes of old classics and were awesome at getting the crowd hyped up and feeling great about life. The only real issue I had with the final day of the festival was that it didn’t end with Capital Cities and the huge smile they brought to my face. It instead ended with MGMT (who I had been excited to see for months) who pulled media minutes before the show (after making us sign comprehensive legal contracts) came out with a set that literally sucked the life, that the Capital Cities had every so generously pumped into the crowd, right back out of the crowd at a rapid speed. Leaving me to bail early to go and eat some amazing festival tacos along with hundreds of other disgruntled crowd members.
Special mentions need to go to The Boom Booms who are not only sexy as F*&K but who always draw a really great crowd, Wake Owl who’s voice blew me away, Current Swell, The Matinee, Washboard Union who had the crowd pumping, The Trews, JP Morris who’s voice was phenomenal and all the other musicians who took the time to give their energy to the crowd.
Notes about the festival
Now there are a few facts about Keloha that I think you should know prior to attending, facts that if you are aware of them in advance it will save you a lot of heartache later.
There are rules
Before Wetape Productions stepped in and started creating Music Festivals like Keloha and Center of Gravity there was a well known festival called Wakefest held at Waterfront Park each year. As drunken debauchery, fighting and general out of control behavior increased (142 arrests were made in 2007) the cities tolerance for Wakefest decreased and eventually the festival was shut down. This means that in order for Wetape to continue providing entertainment festival goers need to abide by some strict rules. Now the rules are pretty standard and apply at most festivals eg. no outside booze, no drugs and no fighting however at this festival they actually make sure you follow them. You can only drink in the beer garden, you will be searched thoroughly on the way in to both the festival and the beer garden, you will have your ID checked more times than you can count and you will be searched upon your exit. It is annoying but I guess necessary given the history of the area. If you smoke weed the RCMP will chase you down and escort you out and if you cause a disturbance prepare to be escorted downtown in cuffs.
There is no tent city
If you plan on going to Keloha make sure you book your accommodation well in advance so you don’t miss out. Due to the festivals location there is no festival camping available and the closer you get the event the harder it is to find affordable accommodation so don’t mess around. The hours are unique The festival ends at 10pm every night. After the final act if you wish to continue partying you need to move downtown to the various venues that host after parties. The concept is great however the venues fill up really quickly so I recommend getting there fast or having a plan B. Overall this festival did really well for it’s second year, it has a lot of potential and I am excited to watch it grow. Till next time -WiMM