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April 11, 2012
Astral Harvest Music and Arts Festival Season 5: Field of Dreams
Welcome back to yet another edition of Festival Fever, our weekly blog featuring the very best electronic music festivals and events around the world focusing mainly on the Canadian scene. This week, we head back out west to the vast wilderness of northern Alberta in order to highlight this enlightening experience known as Astral Harvest Music and Arts Festival. This year will be the fifth iteration and yet again will be situated on the beautifully laid out North Country Fair festival grounds near Driftpile, Alberta, a three and a half hour drive north of Edmonton. From July 5 to July 8, this tremendous piece of land will be transformed into a musical wonderland.
Possessing a much more spiritual feel than most, this festival will also host a series of interactive workshops and a variety of conferences which are sure to inspire new modes of thought. The workshops taking place on site will range from “HoopDANCE; Finding Flow with Your Hoop” to “Toss Juggling Workshops.” Self-enrichment will be the primary focus of the many seminars and courses to be offered such as yoga, meditation and self-awareness. These learning opportunities are likely the reason behind this event holding a reputation for being a gathering of not only music and art but knowledge and experience as well.
The North Country Community Association overlooks and maintains the beautiful property which plays host to several high profile events every year. Beyond the marvel of sights and sounds will be a small city of tents and campers as everyone inside the festival is permitted to setup a tent in the camping area at no extra charge. The property is large and offers plenty of space for everyone to setup comfortably. The nearest hotel is 45 KMs away therefore camping is an excellent option and keeps you directly on the Festival Grounds for the entire four days. A playground and child-centered activities will be in place to help keep the little harvesters occupied and entertained, this family friendly atmosphere is a huge part of this magical event and is likely the main reason more and more families converge on this picturesque landscape every year.
The Astral Harvest 2011 music line up included: Tristan, Calvertron, Spoonbill, Curtis B, Ill.Gates, Stagga, Freaky Flow, Shamik, Blue Lunar Monkey, Longwalkshortdock, Adam Shaikh, Treavor Moontribe, Neighbour, Knight Riders, JPod – The Beat Chef, Beat Burgler, Jay Michael and many more. The artists each had their opportunity to fascinate the crowd with their talent and the energy was apparent from day till night. The incredible art on display last year included the impressive artworks of the Queen of Fables, Stacie Clarke, Shylo Love, Amy Frith, Marissa Puff and other highly skilled artists. The live performances further encompassed the positive ambient feeling of the four day affair. Many dance acts graced the stage including performances from Vibe Tribe with their sultry mix of belly dance, object manipulation and fire. Oaken also took his turn wowing the crowds with his hypnotizing fire manipulation skills. Carla Snow and Safire showed off their hoop skills with graceful flow art coined ‘hoop dance’. The turn out was successful and the good people at Astral Harvest proved yet again they have created a brand that will continue to grow for years along with the popularity of electronic dance music in Canada. Although not located in a large city, it is amazing to see the amount of fans that make their way into the boreal wilderness of northern Alberta every year for this event. Check out this promo video from of last year.
This year, three separate stages will once again be spread throughout the grounds and they will each feature the unbelievable audio quality people have come to expect from Calgary-based PK Sound. Being the official sound team for a multitude of events and constructing their own speaker designs has proven them to be a leader in the industry. Their signature series of speakers which have been utilized on tour for notable artists such as Skrillex, Excision and others will be loud and crisp to help keep the energy levels high. PK has gained popularity in several markets now and has truly created a solid brand throughout North America. They have recently opened an office in San Francisco in order to better accommodate their large database of American clientele and their reputation precedes them heading into this unique festival, no doubt, the music will be loud and the bass will be heavy.
The fans will be delighted by the line up in place for this fifth edition. Astral Harvest will again feature talent from both local distinction as well as international with many artists returning again this year. The schedule already includes many favourites from Canada and beyond including ZEN Mechanics, Dehli 2 Dublin, Serial Killaz, Eprom, Samples, ill-Esha, The Fungineers, Knight Riderz, Mr. Rogers, Timothy Wisdom, Longwalkshortdock, Neighbor, Red Light Quadrant, DJ R.E.L.1, Chris Organix and The Funk Hunters. Also included in the lineup are acoustic artists Scott Kalechstein, Amy Thiessen, Brian McLeod & Gord Oaks, Nineca BunicaBeats and Spirit Music. The line up for live art performances will see return appearances from Vibe Tribe, Sacred Hands, Spark, Oaken, Stacie Clarke and Carla Snow. Fans will also be privy to shows from Luminous Fractal, Laura West, Megan Baird, Lilith, Amanda Syryda and Flowscience. Some of acts will be featured on stage all while others will be found roaming through the crowd entertaining fans with their mind-bending creativity.
With its uplifting vibe and creative productions, Astral Harvest Music and Arts Festival will continue to attract masses of fans for years to come and happens to be a great experience for anyone with interest in music and the fine arts. Check out the website here www.astralharvest.com for updates and information on where to purchase your tickets.
Next week we discover Motion Notion, yet another festival set in the wilderness of western Canada. For five days and nights thousands of people will gather in Golden, British Columbia and enjoy music from hundreds of artists. Produced by Katalyst events and in its 13th year now, this festival has built a reputation for being a thing of discovery and amazement for all. Come back next week to hear all about it.
If you know of any Canadian or international electronic music festivals we should be covering, please email Stef at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!