New electronic music festival announced 

'Believe Freedom' slated to run in July at Whistler Olympic Park

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Summer Party: Believe Freedom Festival will bring a range of electronic music to Whistler.
  • Photo submitted
  • Summer Party: Believe Freedom Festival will bring a range of electronic music to Whistler.

Whistler is set to host a new five-day electronic, world music and culture festival next summer.

Believe Freedom Festival will run from July 11 to 15 at the Whistler Olympic Park and feature four "arenas," including a music main stage, a spot for daytime lounging while taking in ambient, reggae and world music, a Global Village with artisans, aboriginal art and a Drum Café, as well as a Cosmic Café with a "chill and dub zone."

If you think it sounds like a niche event, think again, says founder Adrian Moran. The trance music scene is huge overseas, with a diverse, enthusiastic crowd. "It's a spinoff from the hippie movement, actually," Moran says. "The whole trance scene has got this message of love and peace behind it. Once people realize it's not teenage club music I think they'll buy into it. You'd be shocked; Some of our YouTube videos, the second biggest (demographic watching) is women age 54 to 65."

The event is only open to adults 19 and over. While organizers will release the full line-up closer to the festival, they've announced it will include local, Canadian and international talent. So far, they've revealed that artists from Iono Music, an electronic music label representing DJs and musicians, and Mbuyiselo "Munkie" Ncapayi, master percussionist and South African drum teacher, will perform.

"I know people will enjoy the music if they open up to it," Moran says. "It's not what people think it is. That's the main message I want to get across."

Tickets for the event include both camping and admission. They vary from $156 for earlybird up to $312 for general admission, with incremental increases in between.

For Whistlerites or those staying in the village, there will also be a shuttle service included. With well over 200 days left, as a countdown on the website shows, the tickets aren't yet on sale, but more information will be available soon. "There will definitely be a lot of people travelling (to Whistler) for this, I would hope," Moran adds. "We're hoping Whistler comes to the festival. We're hoping to get Whistler people involved in the production."

To that end, Moran and his team have launched the Digital Mountain Tribe (DMT) Lab, in part to introduce the community to the music. "We built a studio in the basement (in Whistler) and we do livestream sessions and record them and put them on YouTube," he explains. "In the four months we've been going, we've had close to 30,000 hits already on the channel. The DJs, these guys play festivals around the world."

(To check out the archived sessions search DMT Lab on YouTube.) They also recently launched Progressive Sundays at Maxx Fish. "There are people out here who have contacted me saying, 'We're happy this is happening here,'" Moran says.

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