Hippies in the forests. In the Okanagan. Stop the presses

by • May 20, 2017 • Articles, BC Musicians, Current Issue, Front Page, Music Festivals, Read Online, VenuesComments (0)161

Deep in the abyss of the Okanagan wilderness lay a series of secluded sites that are perfect for off-the-grid, hippie music festivals.

Private locations far away from urban centres allow for limitless energy to be utilized by the party-planning company Ora Laser Entertainment. They’ll be lighting up Curiosity Music Festival, taking place near Penticton in June; Summer Bass Music Festival near Rock Creek in July; and Hi Society Music Festival near Kamloops in August.

“Each stage we create is from brainstorming and careful planning,” said Ora Laser owner Jordan Sikora. “Many of the stages I have put together takes many hours to prepare, in my driveway or back yard, and all are powered by PK Sound and lit by Ora Laser Entertainment.”

Sikora became an enterprising laser furnisher after noticing the Okanagan’s once-mighty underground festival scene was withering away.He saw a party power vacuum that needed to be filled.“Most of the other promotion group had disbanded or moved away,” Sikora said. “That left all the people who love music and setting their soul free on the dance floor with a hole in their lives. So we basically cater to anyone thats legal age and older. People who are high in spirit and low in judgement. Basically anyone that just wants to come have fun, socialize and be a part of the local scene.”

And the craft of festival planning is something that takes considerable honing.

“You can’t just throw your lights in a forest and hope it looks good,” he said.“You got to have a bit of an artsy side with light placement too.”

From Friday night until Sunday afternoon, the heavy beats never stop at these weekend-long festivals. Lineups are stacked with local artists and producers whose musical showcases are comparable to any big name. Festival-goers should be prepared for hot, cold and rainy weather, and bring camping gear or have a cozy vehicle to sleep in. Hot food and hippie apparel are available through a handful of vendors, and profits are continually reinvested into more powerful speakers, laser and equipment. Spray paint artists love the atmosphere for creating mind-bending murals, and workshops are regularly held by fervent artists and dancers

Each event tends to lure crowds from 300 to 1,000 in size.

“We invite every patron ourselves, which weeds out the crazy over the top party animals and people that enjoy starting fights and problems. Everyone who comes to our shows are there for a good time.”

The events are invite-only, so follow Ora Laser Entertainment on Facebook to get involved with the community.

by Dan Walton

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