It was a weekend of sun, family, friends and glorious music from around the world at the 10th annual Komasket Music Festival.
Thousands descended on Komasket Park, located on the Okanagan Indian Reserve near Vernon, from Friday to Sunday to hear such iconic artists such as Buffy St. Marie and Jon Anderson, of the band Yes, perform under clear skies in the open-air kekuli stadium normally used for powwow events and other First Nation gatherings.
A surprise flyby by the Canadian Snowbirds during St. Marie’s set lit up the sky Saturday, while others danced the night away to the acid jazz Aborigine sounds of Australia’s OKA, and New York hip hop group Digable Planets.
Maria in the Shower, Sweatshop Union and Nelson DJ Adham Shaik added to the dance frenzy Friday, while South Africa’s Nkulee Dube and Vancouver’s En Karma capped off Sunday’s entertainment, which included a beautiful and inspiring set by Anderson.
Festival founders and co-artistic directors Devaki and Thomas Thomas, who do most of the planning for Komasket in London, U.K., where they now live, could be seen enjoying the festival atmosphere, even getting up on stage to perform with their band Samsara and backing up Anderson for a song.
Families with young children, dressed in colourful tutus, spun hula hoops to the beat, when not cooling themselves off in Okanagan Lake, or clapping along to the entertainment in the KidZone tent, which included some cirque-style acrobatics by The Evolutionaries.
Those lazing at the beach Saturday afternoon even enjoyed an impromptu jam by Dube, Noxee Rodobe and Phili Nayawosi, who led a procession down to the water from the workshop tent, and had all singing and dancing to their South African rhythms.
That was just an example of the magic created at this year’s Komasket –– a festival held on sacred land respected by most who attended and by those hoping for more for years to come.