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Creekside mellow for Stoltmann subhead: Fewer than 200 show for six-band festival By Paul Andrew Organization and scant promotion are being cited for the small turn-out — fewer than 200 people — during the Stoltmann Music Festival Aug. 28 in Whistler Creekside. Municipal officials in Whistler were concerned the festival would get out of hand with up to 600 people to control. But that wasn’t the case. Organizers were happy though, and the crowd, which started gathering at 2 p.m., was blissfully sublime in the warm afternoon sun. "We’re extremely pleased with the attendance," said Damian Kettlewell. "We did get a phone call at about 6 p.m. to turn the music down, and we did. Other than that it went very well." While recreational tennis went on undisturbed at the adjacent Whistler Valley Tennis Club, patio patrons at Hoz’s Pub were treated to a smorgasbord of music. "I was walking over here from Alpha Lake, after I went for a swim, and I heard the music," said Jennifer Poiret. "So I just stopped to check it out for a while and it’s good, but I didn’t know it was going on." Organizers Kettlewell and BC Eco Events are perhaps fortunate the festival was moved within Whistler’s municipal boundaries. If it had taken place in the Soo Valley, where it was originally scheduled, there may have been a lot fewer concert goers. To the dismay of some music lovers, Green Room and The Grames Brothers, two bands popular with locals, were the first acts to take the stage, when there were few people in attendance. Lily Frost, still a relatively new band, performed well as the third act but couldn’t really connect with the down-to-earth crowd. Flamboyant lead singer Lindsay Davis appeared on stage in a skin-tight suit and electric red wig. Browning, a hyped up sensation from Vancouver, was fine but the laid back approach of sitting on a chair while his band played around him did little to achieve any momentum. It was much the same for John Bottomley, who has an excellent new album out called Raggle Taggle, but chose to perform at the festival without his band. By this time, a good crowd had formed — nearly 200 — and were rewarded with a full band in the form of Martin Tielli and Farmer in the City. "I thought there was around 400 there," Kettlewell said. "That’s what I heard anyway. Either way, we raised $1,000 toward our cause and generated interest in preserving the Stoltmann. "And I thought the best part of the evening was when we produced images behind Farmer in the City. It was a slide show that turned out really well," Kettlewell added. "But we closed down at 9:30 p.m. just like we said we would." Despite the heavy rain Sunday, a three-band mini-festival went from 1 p.m. until about 5 p.m., Kettlewell said. The bands were relative unknowns and played to a small crowd of some 50 "friends" from the city. Despite organizers’ promise not to let liquor on the site, it flowed freely but didn’t cause any problems. Environmentalists who spoke at the festival congratulated themselves by proclaiming a victory in the Elaho Valley because they had prevented logging for nine consecutive days.

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