Rare Vibe: Where music meets the mountain

The Rarearth Music Fest takes the plunge in changing its venue and date –– pretty risky business when you’re trying to establish “your” weekend in the massive festival arena.

  • Jun. 29, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Contributed by Kath Raeber

Hmmm what to do, what to do… to take the plunge for the Rarearth Music Fest in changing the venue and the date –– pretty risky business when you’re trying to establish “your” weekend in the massive festival arena.

Let’s take a walk down Rarearth memory lane and see how we got here:

In 2008, in a flurry of ideas –– all day, all night that replaced peaceful dreams –– was the nagging that something really important could happen here.

It was also fewer venues, support for local artists, the plastic nightmare after Hurricane Wilma, the once-a-year children’s musical, and an economic kick in the pants for our little town that fueled us.

We had questions.

How do we make us a destination and keep tourist dollars here? And how is it, and who was it, who made me the one to find a way to put this altogether?

And what on earth were they thinking?

Experience told me to listen… and voila!

So there “it” was and in three months a festival was born at the Kin Race Track site in our own sweet town. And even though we just about froze to death, we rocked the stage with the likes of Rita Chiarelli, Carlos del Junco, Jack Sempel, David “the Saxman” Brown, Judy Rose, Salmon Armenians, The Tomkats, and featured our first kidz act, Sistas Blue.

With every emotion running high, we smiled a lot that year. And even though Vernon hadn’t quite found us yet, we did a fantastic job of putting on our first festival. The volunteers and leaders, well, they were the real stars.

The Terrace Mountain fire threatened to cancel us in 2009, but again we rocked, incorporating our new initiative, Stage Right, for kidz who competed in Our Kids Have Talent (OKHT), sponsored by 107.5 Kiss FM. Now that was a success story!

We filled the Main Stage with artists such as Jimmy Bowskill, Dawn Tyler Watson, Kal David, Alfie Zappacosta and five-time Grammy Award winner Mr. Buddy Guy.

That was the year that our festival was nominated for Best New Business, Best Marketer, Best Community Supporter, and Best Green Business through the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Slammed with a million ideas for 2010, changing it all up became inevitable. After all, change is good, right?

Rarearth became a three-day festival with a nice mix of jazz, rockin’ blues, pop, country folk, funk, and everything in between, creating a world feel, and attracting a dynamic and diverse audience.

Friday night opened with The Matt Harwood-Jones Band (top 10 for OKHT), Sherman “Tank” Doucette and Mr. Wes Mackey.  Saturday, the dancin’ slippers came out as we featured Andrew Allen, Barney Bentall, David Gogo, Jim Byrnes, The Sojourners, Rita Chiarelli, and Maria Muldaur, plus 75 kidz on Stage Right. We all got the shivers on Sunday with gospel from Jon Buller and the Black Pioneer Heritage Singers.

“How can we ever top this?” we asked.

Well, how about moving the venue and the date?!

We are beyond thrilled that the beautiful Silver Star Mountain Resort will host the Rarearth Music Fest for 2011.

Silver Star Mountain is the “jewel” that we Vernonites are all proud to call ours, so it doesn’t get much better when you marry the two and create a “mountain-meets-the-music” theme to accomplish everything we set out to do in the first place.

This year’s festival, July 23 and 24, features two days of non-stop music with Brickhouse, Jodi Pederson, Greg Sczebel, Redfish, Poppa Dawg, Wassabi Duo, Steve Kozak, Mason Rack, David “the Saxman” Brown, Kath and The Tomkats, and the spectacular Delhi to Dublin, plus kidz from OKHT!

Also tons of family activities will create a weekend for family and friends for a fun-filled “stay-cation” only 20 minutes from your own backyard.

See www.rarearthmusic.com for ticket details or call 250-938-2231.

–– Kath Raeber is the founder and artistic director of the Rarearth Music Fest, which is run by the not-for-profit North Okanagan Music Festival Society.