An eight-foot by eight-foot NiteBrite has been set up by artists for participants to play with during the festival. (Erinn McPherson photo)

ValhallaFest kickstarts first year

Three-day electronic music and art festival starts this weekend in Terrace

In Norse mythology, Valhalla is an eternal paradise reserved for fallen Vikings during times of battle – and that’s exactly what organizers of a new music festival in northern B.C. want it to feel like.

“No matter what battle you’re fighting, all warriors are welcome in Valhalla,” said Erinn McPherson, one of the organizers for the festival. “Not all battles are physical, some are unseen, and we want everybody to take a step back from their battle and just relax and be themselves.”

ValhallaFest is a three-day, family-friendly music extravaganza held at the Lower Shames Estate along the Zymacord River, just outside of Terrace, from June 22 to June 24. The grounds span over 75-acres of land set in the midst of an old-growth forest, where festival-goers can take in displayed artwork or dance to live electronic music until 4 a.m. For campers who want a quieter space away from the 9,000 watt sound system, there are sleeping options available 300-metres away from the main stage.

“What we think is that it’ll be our northern rainforest version of Shambhala or Kispiox, so very artistic with electronic music,” said Ray Pedersen, site owner for the festival.

Work on ValhallaFest began on a cold, snowy night in November 2017 inside a log cabin, where Pedersen, McPherson and Issa Ullman, their resident builder, joined together and brainstormed ideas. Since then, the concept has snowballed into a music festival with 23 electronic dance music (EDM) artists and an expected crowd of 500 people, managed by a team of 60 volunteers.

“We’re not looking to make money, we’re not looking to make a loss, if we can break even, we’re happy,” Pedersen said. “But we’re just most excited to be doing this, it’s really a bucket list thing for a bunch of us.”

EDM artists are coming in from all over the province and internationally, including Terrace, Smithers, Prince Rupert, Prince George, Vancouver and California to play over the weekend.

Next to the main stage will be an open marketplace, where food trucks, vendors and artisans will be stationed. Meditation classes will be hosted every morning, along with other classroom type events including belly dancing, art classes, and traditional yoga.

Spare wood from some of the old-growth trees that were felled during the clearing process will be stacked in the shape of an immense, mythical tree called Yggdrasil that is believed to connect the nine realms in Norse mythology. If things go as planned on Saturday night, a Viking funeral pyre will be set up as a ceremonial burning of the bridge, symbolizing the release of old emotions and influences.

“We’re really inspired by events that allow people to let go of their emotions and their past and things that have been holding them back by burning small trinkets or pictures or messages that they need to get out of their body, and just kind of let go and let live,” McPherson said.

Participants are also invited to bring pieces of art with them to ValhallaFest, where artists will have the chance to display their work as part of the festival’s overall vibe. One of the highlights, according to McPherson, is an eight-foot by eight-foot NiteBrite display next to the first aid cabin, where nostalgia-driven concertgoers can create masterpieces of their own using illuminated, coloured plastic pegs.

“We’d really like to have something with a lot of art, a lot of music and a lot of participation so everyone leaves feeling like they’ve created this gorgeous society where everyone is really welcoming and happy,” she said.

“It’s just a really very relaxing time because it can be stressful in the North… there are a lot of bears up here, you know? Constant stress levels. But it would be nice to have a three-day weekend that just continues to grow and everyone can just leave feeling like, ‘That was amazing, I learned so much.’”

Tickets cost $50 for the weekend and $40 for car passes, which can be purchased online or at the gate. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 for people who want to set up camp, with music starting on Friday, June 22 at 3 p.m.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The stage built to showcase 23 electronic music artists throughout the three-day festival from June 22 to June 24. (Stepheny Vossen photo)

Half of the 30-member grounds crew after they completed their training in June for ValhallaFest. (Stepheny Vossen photo)

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Most Read