Back to top

Ponderosa festival ready for second year of music

-- submitted photo

All across BC there is outdoor adventure, stunning scenery and amazing communities awaiting discovery. Now, take one of those small communities and add a riverside campground, arts and tonnes of music. This is the making of one incredible summer weekend.

Nestled on the banks of the Kettle River sits the small farming community of Rock Creek.

It is in this sleepy little town that two BC boys, Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi, had the big dream of starting a music festival. That dream developed into the Ponderosa Arts and Music Festival, now in its second year.

The festival is on from Aug. 22 to 24 at the Rock Creek fairgrounds.

“Everything about the area is perfect for Ponderosa,” said Hargrave. “ You have a picturesque festival site that is full of character and you have camping right on the river. It is a beautiful place. We picture Ponderosa Festival as a breath of fresh air, a place where amazing artists, local and beautiful BC countryside can come together to celebrate music and art.”

Rock Creek is a short drive from the Okanagan town of Osoyoos, in fact it is close enough that in the summer months you can practically taste the peaches and smell the sunscreen. Coming to Rock Creek from Vancouver, Osoyoos is a must-see destination. Grab a bottle of wine, some fresh fruit and get ready to step back in time.

If you are coming from Kelowna set your cruise control and get ready for an hour and a half of open road freedom down Hwy. 33.

The organizers say the philosophy of Ponderosa is to create a more intimate music experience and to build an event that truly reconnects people with music and arts.

“We have been hearing a lot of negative publicity for other festivals in the news recently,” said Zahrabi.  “What we’ve been aiming to do is to create a welcoming and intimate setting for those who love the outdoors as well as the culture of arts and music. We’re reaching out to those who are looking for a new festival experience, or those who have yet to go to a festival because of this negative buzz. We’re showing people that there is a better, more laid back type of festival experience without long lineups, massive crowds and big-time corporate sponsors.”

This year’s line-up has over 25 artists from across Canada and welcomes a few from south of the border including: Plants and Animals, the Funk Hunters, BRAIDS, Blouse, No Sinner, Good for Grapes, Ladyhawk and Jay Malinowski and the Deadcoast.

“We have an unbelievable number of talented artists living right in our backyard,” said Hargrave. “We believe in every band performing at Ponderosa. A lot of thought went into inviting each and every act. We want to be known as the festival you can come to to discover great music, and the festival that supports the up-and-comer. We are striving to be a different festival experience and hope people will appreciate and support that mission.”

The weekend will also be packed with other activities like morning yoga classes, a pancake breakfast, a moustache and beard competition and live art projects.

Tickets for the weekend are $125 and include three nights of camping, parking and access to all the music and art action.

“The ticket price was something that we thought about for awhile,” said Zahrabi. “We understand how expensive some festivals can be and wanted to make it accessible for more people. Some people find it hard to believe that our full weekend pass with camping and parking is less expensive than parking alone at some other BC festivals.”

Organizers make a promise this will be the best weekend of the summer.

Visit www.ponderosafestival.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Full lineup includes:

  • Plants and Animals
  • Blouse
  • BRAIDS
  • The Funk Hunters
  • Ladyhawk
  • Wampire
  • Good for Grapes
  • No Sinner
  • Jay Malinowski and the Deadcoast
  • Kutapira
  • The Dead Zones
  • FRANKIE
  • Reef Shark
  • Wild Son
  • Joyful Door
  • LIO
  • Icelandia
  • Tofu Stravinsky
  • Terrence Jack