An experience where incredible music and stunning nature collide—that’s the vision of the Ponderosa Arts and Music Festival and it’s coming soon to Rock Creek.
The creators and organizers of the Ponderosa festival are friends Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi. The two live in Vancouver, but spent most of their years growing up in the South Okanagan. The idea of putting on the festival came to them last summer after a camping party at Zahrabi father’s farm in Oliver.
“Kris and I started talking about the festival around this time because we were looking at potentially needing a larger site to host the party,” Zahrabi said. “Kris grew up on a farm in Bridesville and he had suggested it as a potential location for hosting the party.”
The pair secured the Rock Creek Fairgrounds and began calling agents to start booking a lineup of independent musicians and bands from a wide variety of genres.
“We both have a love for music and also had a desire to bring more friends out to experience this beautiful part of B.C. We both also have friends in Vancouver that are in bands and thought it would be a sweet idea to get them involved,” Zahrabi said.
Ponderosa is a full-on arts and music festival, he added, but their focus has always been on maintaining an intimate and personal environment. “We promote nothing but good vibes.”
The Rock Creek Fairgrounds is a great venue for such a festival, held this year from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 21 – 23.
The Riverside Campground is “a little slice of paradise” that can be yours for only $25 extra per camper (sorry, no hook-ups available). Washroom facilities at the campgrounds include flush toilets, inks and coin-operated hot showers. There are drinking water taps spread throughout the campgrounds and on the fairgrounds site. Pets are not permitted on the festival grounds or in the campsites at any times.
This year, the festival organizers have added the Parkway Campground. This campground is included with every ticket purchase–the area is still connected to the festival site, but is lacking a little shade.
(Campfires are banned in all areas by order of the BC Wildfire Service, but barbecues and camp stoves are allowed.)
Near enough to both campgrounds and the festival grounds is the Kettle River. Enjoy a refreshing dip; or, take your chair and relax at shore’s edge.
This year’s line-up of entertainment includes B.C.-bred acts Mounties, Fake Shark Real Zombie, High Ends, the Harpoonist & the Axe Murder, Bear Mountain, Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party and the Gay Nineties.
The lineup also includes an array of other indie artists, DJs and electronic acts like Fort Knox Five, SAVVIE, Pumpkin, Honey Beard, Rhoneil, cAthedrAls, Jaguar, Cam Penner, Tiger Moon, El Garzita, Kandle & The Krooks, Harold Nix, Giraffe Aftermath, Lio and Catlow.
It has been such an amazing process full of highs, lows, sacrifices and successes, Hargrave added. “We are super passionate about Ponderosa and all the positive feedback we have received really motivates us to push on. Our goal is for Ponderosa to grow into a summer event that is eagerly anticipated year after year. “
“I’d also like to add that we love Rock Creek and the people of Rock Creek,” Zahrabi said. “We were lucky enough to connect with them and to be welcomed back to host our third annual event at the fairgrounds.”
For tickets and further information, visit the festival’s website at ponderosafestival.com.
Please note that although Ponderosa Festival is an all ages event it is catered towards a more mature audience. All attendees under the age of 19 must be accompanied by an adult and will be required to wear a separate color wristband for identification.