Hidden away in the Little Slocan Valley is a music festival that is doing something a little bit different.
Little Fest at the Little Slocan Lodge has been offering a unique experience to music lovers setting themselves apart from the many music festivals in the area.
“We cap our attendance at 500 and we feel like that’s the perfect size for the property and the impact on the land,” said Ron LeBlanc, organizer of Little Fest, and owner and operator of Little Slocan Lodge.
“We were doing a lot of indoor shows and had music for weddings and that sort of thing. And then we were kind of challenged by another festival organizer to have a full on music festival.”
Even though the festival aims to draw a little crowd, there is nothing little about its line up.
This year’s performers include Juno Award winners Alex Cuba and Bedouin Soundclash. The Handsome Family, whose songs have been covered by musicians like Andrew Bird, Christy Moore and Jeff Tweedy, will be traveling from Albuquerque, New Mexico to take the stage at Little Fest.
LeBlanc said building the lineup for the festival isn’t always easy.
“You can’t just write a wish list like it’s Christmas and expect to get all the presents. You have to work with who’s available, especially within your budget because we have a different budget than bigger festivals,” he said.
“We have to work with who’s willing to come up to this area and we have to kind of sell them on the experience of being here.”
The Pack AD and Sarah Harmer have appeared at Little Fest in past years.
Little Slocan Lodge is a timber frame and straw bale ecolodge located on 240 acres on the edge of Valhalla Provincial Park.
“We have a beautiful venue. The lodge itself works really well to accommodate the performers on site, which is great, and we have a beautiful large property for people to camp on. It just seems like a natural venue for a music festival,” said LeBlanc.
“It feels like it’s somebody’s big backyard.”
Little Fest aims to reduce its impact on the environment not only with its size but also with green technology.
“The festival is run completely off of green energy. We have our own micro hydro system,” he said.
Tickets just went on sale for Little Fest last week, and LeBlanc said that anyone looking to go to the festival should buy their tickets while they are still available.
“We expect they’ll sell out quickly, so to avoid disappointment buy your tickets in advance,” he said.
Tickets for Little Fest are available in Nelson at Eddy Music and online through the Little Fest website littlefest.ca.