By Maddy Cristall
VANCOUVER – Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival was started in 2013 by close friends Kia Zahrabi and Kris Hargrave. Zahrabi, who resides in Vancouver, was able to provide BeatRoute with insight on the festival’s origins and what makes Ponderosa one of the most unique summer music experiences in British Columbia.
The idea for Ponderosa was born out of a series of successful and audacious parties that Zahrabi threw on his father’s orchard in the Okanagan Valley. Hargrave lives in Kelowna, close to the festival grounds which are in the small and beautiful Rock Creek settlement. The two fell in love with the Boundary Country region, home to Rock Creek’s annual fall fair, and decided this is where they wanted to conduct a full-fledged music festival. The area is engulfed in mountains, a riverside open to tubing, and generous fields suitable for two stages and daily morning yoga.
While starting a festival can be nothing more than a pipedream between music loving friends, Zahrabi and Hargrave executed the feat and have pulled off an impressive annual festival for five years and counting. An average of 1000 people make it out every year to the Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival to experience three days of music, art, and food in the impossibly beautiful Rock Creek area. Zahrabi and Hargrave still embody a sincere affinity for throwing a great party; they both exhibit a chill demeanor which is apparent amongst patrons to their festival. Zahrabi describes the festival as inclusive, non-judgmental, and fun. You can sit in the river between shows, kids are welcome, and people feel safe. Previous attendees have described the festival as the “best weekend of their lives.”
The lineup this year is especially noteworthy as some of the diverse local and national acts include Toronto-based hip hop artist k-os, Montreal art rock band Suuns, psych rock duo Lightning Dust, and local heroes Yukon Blonde and Little Destroyer. If you love great music, an eclectic lineup, great company, and a gorgeous backdrop in the dog days of summer, then the Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival is for you.
Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival runs from August 17 to19 in Rock Creek, BC.Ponderosa Festival