Electronic music fans can celebrate with the announcement of Whistler’s newest festival, Believe Freedom, set to attract thousands of international and regional visitors for a five-day event in Olympic Park this summer.
The event runs from July 11 to 15, 2013 and will feature four custom designed stages, each highlighting a different style of electronic or world music including progressive trance, techno, ambient and dub.
The main Galaxy Stage will feature the headlining acts, visual and laser displays and will focus on techno and Goa trance, a progressive musical movement borne out of the exodus of European hippies to India during the 1960s, which has grown to become widely popular in Europe, South Africa, Australia and Latin America, said event organizer Adrian Moran.
“(Goa trance) is by no means a fringe scene with people taking acid and sitting under the trees, it’s a global movement with a message behind it of peace and harmony with nature and balance with the people around you,” he said. “The people that are aware of this scene that are coming to us from all around the Sea to Sky corridor … they can’t believe it’s coming.”
Moran, a longtime visitor to Whistler who moved here permanently over a year ago, has been involved in producing over 60 electronic music festivals over the last 20 years, with the first Freedom Festival taking place in post-apartheid Johannesburg in 1995. He said the event is expected to attract a wide international contingent thanks in part to a magazine marketing campaign he’s launching this month and expects to reach a combined readership of 175,000 worldwide.
The festival is working with Iono Music, a record label that’s been a fixture on the electronic music scene for years, to bring in some of the best electronic producers to Whistler. Moran was tight lipped about which artists will be appearing, with the full scheduled lineup to be announced closer to the event, but said it will feature big name headliners like South African master drummer Mbuyiselo “Munkie” Ncapayi, who played Olympic Plaza in June, along with plenty of local talent.
Another highlight of the five-day fest is sure to be the Global Village, an area dedicated to highlighting native cultures from around the world, with artisan and Aboriginal goods for sale and the Drum Café zone, where attendees can learn to play the djembe drum and have the opportunity to participate in a live performance with 400 other drummers.
The interactive event highlights the diversity of Believe Freedom Festival’s offerings that are expected to draw upwards of 10,000 people to Whistler this summer.
“Obviously, there are a lot of different styles (at the festival), but I believe that after seeing just about every act in the world and being at every major festival for the last 20 years, we’ve kind of carved out our identity,” said Moran, who is spreading the word locally about trance music through the Digital Mountain Tribe Lab, a studio that broadcasts livestream recording sessions that have garnered tens of thousands of hits on YouTube and a weekly trance-themed night on Sundays at Maxx Fish.
“The progressive (trance) market is just flying again worldwide,” said Moran. “The dubstep scene is flat, there’s no more new sounds, there’s no new people coming up. There’s a hit in dubstep every six months, whereas with this scene there’s 10 new tracks a day. It’s a completely new genre.”
The event offers a variety of ticket packages for adults aged 19 and over that all include camping and a shuttle service from the Village to Whistler Olympic Park, if required. Packages range in price from $190 for early bird admission (tax and shipping costs included) to $350, depending on the package.
Visit www.believefreedomfestival.com for more information.