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Tall Tree Music Festival (preview)

Hey Ocean Live at Squamish Aug 20 2011. Anja Weber photo

Hey Ocean Live at Squamish Aug 20 2011. Anja Weber photo

Preview – Tall Tree Music Festival

– by Ria Nevada

Location: Browns Mountain, Port Renfrew (approx. 200 kilometres from Vancouver, near Sooke on Vancouver Island)
Dates: June 28-30

Festival season is finally upon us, and for those looking for a musical retreat over Canada Day weekend, the organizers over at Tall Tree have cooked up the perfect escape from the city.

It’s their fourth time running the show and this years’ crowd can expect some prime BC and Canadian talent to create a raucous party in the spectacularly beautiful Port Renfrew. Join the likes of Hey Ocean!, Sweatshop Union, The Funk Hunters, The Zolas, Humans, Hollerado, Bend Sinister, Gold and Youth and many more from June 28-30.

Tickets are available at the Tall Tree website and select retail outlets. We caught up with Tall Tree’s director Mike Hann to learn more about what’s in store for festival goers. We’re also giving away two pairs of tickets to Vancouver mainland residents! Details of the competition are just below the following interview.

Tall Tree Festival

Zolas at CBC Toque Sessions Vancouver Feb 7 2013. Christopher Edmonstone photo.

Ria Nevada: Tall Tree is one of the newer festivals emerging in BC, and it takes place in one of the most idyllic locations – Port Renfrew. What drew you folks to that neck of the woods?

Mike Hann: The catalyst for our involvement in the area was Big Fish Lodge, a renowned accommodation in the area. Port Renfrew is undeniably one of the more beautiful spots on the island, and it certainly carries with it a special energy. One has to be there to fully understand it. When we coupled that energy with the amazing artistic talent in the region for the first time, we knew we’d found home.

RN: What are some of the milestones or memorable moments you’ve seen in the past three years of the festival’s existence?  

MH: I think the fact that we are coming up on our fourth year is a huge milestone for us considering the logistical hurdles we face each year. Having a festival on a mountain is not an easy undertaking! With each year I am amazed by the number of incredible like-minded people that come on board to share in the common goal of making Tall Tree one of the most unique festivals around. It’s a special thing watching the growth each year – memories I’ll never forget. There are too many to single out just one.

Tall Tree Festival

Hollerado at Rifflandia, Victoria, Sept 24 2011. Christopher Edmonstone photo

RN: The lineup boasts some of Canada’s finest and eclectic acts. Are there any artists in particular that you think epitomize the values and vision you had for the festival?  

MH: The stand out for me this year is A Tribe Called Red. They are representing the heritage and cultural history in such a powerful way that their message is transcending cultural boundaries. Its amazing to see. The reason that it stands out to me is because with Tall Tree, we are also trying to pay tribute to the environmental, community and cultural history of the great region that we are hosting in.

RN: I can imagine there’s a strong sense of camaraderie between artists and fans at the festival. Do you think this community vibe is represented in Canada’s, or B.C. ‘s in particular, current arts and culture scene?  

MH: Definitely. One of the reasons we started expanding our horizons as far as the acts we bring in is that it became glaringly obvious that the music community’s camaraderie is really widespread. Across Canada really.

RN: The festival has a strong focus on cultivating community and building a sustainable environment. Are you planning on holding any events outside of the festival to further foster these ideals?  

MH: We have our winter festival, Song and Surf which happens in February each year. We try to send the same message through that event as well. We also work to support the Ancient Forest Alliance as much as we can. Their work in the Port Renfrew area has been incredible. I highly recommend having a look at their website – www.ancientforestalliance.org.

The members of our board are also very active in the community. Recently professional lacrosse player Chris McElroy (one of our directors who also works with Right To Play), donated a bunch of lacrosse gear to the youth in the community. In the coming months he will be bringing out some of his teammates to host Lacrosse and motivational seminars with those same youth. Its all a part of giving back.

RN: Finally, I love how one of your key values is to be respectful and kind, and “Make your Mom proud”. What is the best advice your Mom gave you that might come in useful to some of the lucky people going to the Tall Tree fest?

MH: Have fun, respect others, the environment, the history, the community and look after one another! Especially your Tall Tree family members – which is everyone who will be on Browns Mountain June 28th – 30th! Oh – and she usually tells me not to drink too much! Haha.

Alright troops, let us know via Twitter page (@TheSnipeNews) which bands you’re excited to see most at the festival, and that will enter you in our draw. Make sure to mention @TallTreeMusic as well! Winners will be announced in the next week. Good luck!!

Ria Nevada

About Ria Nevada

Ria Nevada is a self-proclaimed pop culture junkie who can quote any early ’90s sitcom or made-for-TV movie, from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose to Frogs. This July she'll be leaving Vancouver for Australia, where she'll study for her Masters in Publishing and Communications.
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