July 9, 2013 by nickcollinet

This past weekend we had the pleasure of attending the second annual Keloha Music & Arts Festival at Waterfront Park in Kelowna BC. Of the numerous things that stand out from the event, the first is surely the incredibly scenic venue.

On the Shores of Lake Okanogan, Keloha’s two stages fit perfectly into the landscape of Waterfront Park, with one using the grassy knoll as a natural amphitheatre for the Island Stage, and the other utilizing the vast beauty of the lake, with the gorgeous Okanogan hills in the distance sitting quite nice behind the pretty people in attendance. Perhaps not the second attribute of note, but the people at this festival were sure looking sexy! Some of BC’s finest we’re in attendance, both on the dance floor and on stage. Keloha’s organizers did an amazing job curating the event with a number of the regions top up and coming musicians in addition to a handful of awesome international guests.

One of the best things about more events like this popping up around Canada is the exposure of great regional talent, for the benefit of both the spectators and the artists. With an audience full of people of all ages, the exposure will help grow and deepen the local music scenes role in the life of British Columbians. For years Canadians have flocked to festivals like Coachella and Sasquatch, and so it’s really great to see some of the attention and fun back on this side of the border at such a quality event.

The venue’s natural beauty teamed up with sunshine and intimate vibes had artists praising this little festival. While chatting back stage and hearing them comment during their sets one after another, the artists all seemed to have an extremely positive experience at the event. All it takes is some good feedback and conversation among bands for more and more artists to want to come play in the years to come.

Capital Cities - “Its very communal you know, there’s a friendly vibe, there’s positivity, that kind of lovey dovey stuff that we’re into”

Damn Fools – “This place has a great vibe, you can’t beat it, and everyone seems to be having a good time so we are super stoked to be here.”

The Zolas – “Its just nice to be in constant sun, and we get treated so well. They’re taking really good care of us”

Complimenting the music was a colourful display of art throughout the grounds. A rainbow of chalk drawings covered the walkway to the Sandbar Stage while painted pyramids spread from walkway to water over the sandy floor. Our favourite art performance came saturday via Okanogan Gymnastics’ beautifully executed number to Imagine Dragons’ ‘Radio Active’.

One of our highlights was when Vancouver boys Humans got the Sandbar all hot n sweaty with electronic infused grooves before orchestrating a group dip in the lake. The one thing that all of our favourite acts had in common was a high degree of engagement with the audience. Vancouver group The Boom Booms also had the sand shimmy shaken when they got the crowd moving up and down and side to side amidst their sensual yet playful performance. On that same note, both Matt & Kim and Capital Cities had the crowd going wild with excitement with some notched up energy on stage, which the evenings younger crowd was itching to hear.

While Matt & Kim hit the Island Stage with off the charts energy, catchy dance anthems, ass shaking & an accidental plunge in the moat, Capital Cities got the crowd to shed a layer and wave it in the air while jumping around to a hard hitting electro remix of their hit song Safe & Sound. Both of these performances were just that, performances. Their stage presence was second to none as they filled the knoll with smiling faces soaking up the positive energy of this beautiful oasis.

The weekend came to a close with MGMT’s performance. We enjoyed it, but their set was more of a psychedelic lullaby than the crowd pleasing dance party that the revved up audience was hoping to hear.

Overall, we had a great time at Keloha this weekend chilling out with a friendly and beautiful crowd to some awesome music in a stunningly scenic setting. We look forward to seeing this festival grow over the years. It’s already an event that we felt lucky to attend and proud to have repping the Okanogan and BCs talented music and arts scene.