Kelowna’s Fireside Festival focuses on diversity in its 7th year

Kelowna’s Fireside Festival ignited a spark once again this year, uniting both local and national artists to create a community-connected music experience for all.

The first festival of sorts was held at a Lakeside home where the artists played all day and night by a roaring fireplace (hence the festival’s name) on a Sunday in January.

Now, seven years later the festival has grown leaps and bounds, spanning over three days while making a strong effort to improve the lineup’s diversity.

“The support of the diversity of the different acts was really well received,” said event coordinator Aaron Desilva.

“We really expanded on the acoustic show and then Saturday night at BNA this year and also added the new hip-hop event on Friday. All three of those events were completely sold-out. They were really well embraced.”

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The three-day festival was held from Jan. 24 to 26, hosting acoustic artists, hip hop artists, rock groups and DJs, concluding with the main event on Sunday which featured solo and group acts across genres.

On Saturday, Kelowna-based indie rockers, Post-Modern Connection, played a high-energy, intricate set that was very well received by fellow artists and festival-goers.

The band played the festival two years in a row and also acknowledged a positive change to the bill this year.

“I honestly think it was a lot more diverse artist-wise and genre-wise,” said Tega Ovie, lead vocalist, Post-Modern Connection.

“They mixed it up a bit, plus they added the hip-hop night on Friday, which was friggin awesome. Aaron (Desilva) also made a point to add more women to the bill too, which was nice to see.”

PMC set the tone for the rest of the night, loosening up the crowd and even handing bubble guns to the audience at one point. Bella Cat and DJ Invisible followed PMC, feeding on the energy of the crowd, both putting on a solid set.

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Little Destroyer rounded out the night, kicking things into overdrive with their intimate but powerful blend of rock and electronic.

The Vancouver-based outfit also played the festival a year ago and have a fond-appreciation for Fireside and the Kelowna music scene.

“We were so happy to be asked back to Fireside this year,” said Allie Sheldan, vocalist, Little Destroyer.

“We were super impressed with how well organized and ran Fireside was last year so it was a no brainer to say yes again to playing this year. Aaron DeSilva and everyone on the Fireside team has really brought an intimate feeling to a big party and it clearly resonates through the audience, the Fireside crowd is one of the most engaged, kind and fun audiences to play for.”

On Sunday, the Snotty Nose Rez Kids took BNA by storm, performing their iconic First Nations inspired hip-hop tracks for a diverse crowd, including their Indigenous fans.

Then, Lazy Syrup Orchestra got the bass bumping with their blend of hip-hop, live instruments and electronic dance music. The mix of the group’s trumpet sounds and bass beats was a combination the crowd couldn’t ignore.

Followed by Lazy Syrup was Frig Off who had the honours of closing out the festival. The Kelowna-based rock outfit brought crunchy guitar tones and wild-riffs to the table, fittingly rounding out the festival as a Kelowna staple.

Desilva said the festival sold a record number of tickets this year, rounding out at over 1,000. The amount of tickets-sold accurately reflected the energy on both Saturday and Sunday night as BNA operated at capacity.

For continued content and additional coverage, visit the Fireside Instagram page, here.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

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