Zoophorous is back and here to stay 

WHAT: Zoophorus

WHERE: Boot Pub

WHEN: Saturday, August 30

If you were one of the 1,500 people who danced barefoot in the sunshine on the grass outside the Boot Pub at last year’s inaugural Zoophorus festival, give yourselves a pat on the back for making it such a success – it’s coming back for an encore.

After raising more than $14, 000 for Zoophorus’ chosen charity, Camp Moomba, getting the thumbs-up from neighbours and police in terms of noise controlm and garnering a great report card from the performing acts themselves, the organisers behind Zoophorus want to build on the funky and family-friendly vibe.

In the hope it will become a familiar face on the Whistler summer event calendar, 2003’s extravaganza is already shaping up to be bigger than last year.

The Boot Pub has just put out calls for more arts, crafts and clothes vendors to join the Zoophorus ranks.

A bigger beer garden will be built closer to the stage.

A state-of-the-art outdoor sound system will be in place to blow your socks off.

And, best of all, after-dark late night parties with your favourite bands will turn the all-day family event into a 12-hour marathon of mind-blowing music, good vibes and great people.

Already booked is the world-renowned hip hop act, De La Soul. Considering their last shows in 2001 in Vancouver and Whistler were sold out, this is one major coup for a festival still in its infancy.

But the big names don’t stop there. Canada’s own electronica group, The New Deal will also take to the stage, along with jam band legends Garaj Mahal, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Denson is best known as Lenny Kravitz’ sax player), and the jazz-influenced Global Funk Council, who bring on the party wherever they go.

Co-organizers The Boot Pub and Upstream Entertainment have been working around the clock for months to bring this festival to fruition.

"This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in B.C.," said Upstream president Derek Arrowsmith.

"It’s always been a problem getting through the laws and just dealing with the expense of putting on an event of this magnitude. But looking at our first efforts, it was too amazing to ignore so we’re bringing it back, but with so much more to offer. It’s gonna be insane".

Boot Pub manager Paul McNaught agreed.

"With all the rave reviews we received and the amount of smiles on all the faces walking out of those gates at the end of the night, it was something we had to build upon. We’ve secured some of the highest quality bands on the earth and are inviting artists and vendors to help turn it into one crazy festive vibe," said McNaught.

"This event is all about celebrating the good things in life and everyone who’s like-minded is welcome to join in. It’s a family affair on private property with food, drinks, arts, crafts and dancing all day long – all while raising money for a great cause".

The Western Canadian Pediatric AIDS Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children infected with HIV and AIDS. The main program of the WCPAS is "Camp Moomba", a recreational summer camp that lets kids enjoy an experience away from their day to day problems.

This year Camp Moomba will host 130 kids from all across Canada for seven days, starting in early July. It’s a safe and nurturing environment where they can have fun and simply be kids.

Thanks to donations from patrons like those who attend Zoophorus, the program is provided free of charge to all the families that they can support.

Tickets to Zoophorous are on sale now for just $50.

The outdoor festival will start at 11 a.m. with music lasting until 9 p.m. For those who want even more bang for their buck, three extra after-parties are being staged at venues around town with Zoophorus acts keen keep playing.

Tickets will be just $20 per show if you buy the combination packages in advance.

Whether you want the festival plus Garaj Mahal later at the Boot Pub; or the festival plus the New Deal later at the GLC; or the festival plus De La Soul’s DJ Maseo at Tommy Africa’s – these shows will be full of surprises with all the bands are staying in town.

Who knows who might pop in for a jam? Our advice is buy your tickets now before they sell out.

See www.zoophorus.com for all the details.

Interested vendors can contact Upstream Entertainment or the Boot Pub as some stall spots are still available.

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