When an outdoor festival has a history of “curious llamas” tied to its folklore, it’s safe to say that nothing is off the table when it comes to the Two Acre Shaker.
Originally occurring on the two-acre property of Pemberton Valley farmer Kirk Becker, the Shaker was initially conceived as a pre-party for the now-defunct Pemberton Festival in 2008. Taking place on Saturday (Aug. 17) at the Lillooet Lake Rodeo Grounds, festival organizer Pat McKinnon has seen the event grow by leaps and bounds in only five years of existence.
“We started in 2008 when the Pemberton Festival was out this way and Tom Petty and Jay Z were there, and initially, we had a bunch of friends coming into town for the festival, so we just thought we’d throw a little pre-party on the Thursday night,” McKinnon said.
“About 200 people showed up and everyone had a super good time and so in 2009, the Pemberton Festival wasn’t coming back and we just decided to try and throw our own little party with a few hundred people as opposed to 40,000 people. So that year was the first official year we came up with the concept of the Two Acre Shaker and it grew from there.”
Moving to a larger space for logistical issues on to Lil’Wat Nation land, in the Mount Currie area, McKinnon and his team are excited to present a local-heavy line up of musical talent.
Not sticking to any musical pattern, the Shaker prides itself on pushing the boundaries of genre.
“The majority of our artists are based in the west coast, Sea-to-Sky area, but every year, we bring in a few headliners from out of town,” McKinnon added.
“This year, we’ve got Lyrics Born who is obviously pretty well known and a few headlining DJ’s coming in from out of town … and basically everyone else in the lineup is from the West Coast and the music is all over the map.”
Toting artists from Kelowna, Whistler, Vancouver and Victoria, the fest will also feature local favourite DJ Rob Banks, who is re-inventing himself as “international man of sexual leisure,” Roberto Elbaanco, specifically for the Shaker.
“He’s come up with a different moniker for himself for our party,” McKinnon said. “He is quite excited about bringing a bit of Latin flavour to the mix.”
Wanting everyone on the grounds to enjoy themselves and dance the night away, McKinnon has tried to keep the manifesto of the festival as simple as possible.
“It’s certainly centered around good times, but the musical philosophy we try to create is one that drives people to dance all night long and with an outrageously large smile on their faces,” McKinnon added. “So, in terms of genre, we have a pretty eclectic mix of music every year.”
With two stages adjacent to each other, the Two Acre Shaker uses the flip-flop technique, featuring a DJ stage and a live band stage.
McKinnon is particularly excited about the 2013 line-up and looks forward to taking in the sights and sounds of the event himself.
“I’ve seen (headliner) Lyrics Born a few times and his live hip-hop show is unmatched in terms of performance energy. But I think the sleeper favourite in terms of knocking your socks off will be JFB … and the other one I’m really excited to see is Kytami. She’s one of the founders of (world music group) Delhi 2 Dublin, but she left a few years ago to pursue a solo career, and she is a violin virtuoso who plays with a live drummer, an MC and a DJ.”
Kytami, whose stage-name represents a mix of her first and middle names of Kyla and Tamiko, has been on the international radar for some time.
Born in Vancouver and raised in White Rock, the emerging Victoria-based violinist has had music on her mind from a very young age.
“I was pretty young, around three years old, when I started music and began lessons at the Vancouver Academy of Music, so it was a pretty intense classical training to begin with,” Kytami said.” But I always say that I learned just as much after I left because I’ve been jamming with different kinds of bands for years. I played in an Irish pub for years and I’ve been writing my own music for over 10 years now.”
Priding herself as having an unpegged musical range, Kytami began letting her tastes roam free as a teenager.
“My best friend’s dad had an amazing record collection and I remember summers of going through his vinyl and listening to interesting stuff like Frank Zappa and Dire Straits and Talking Heads,” Kytami said.“So that was cool, but after that, when I graduated high school, I fell in love with hip-hop and more electronic sounds.”
With the addition of beat-based, electronic music to her repertoire, Kytami began to delve deep into the worlds of hip-hop and rap.
“The first album I ever owned was by The Goats, but I think that Pharcyde really peaked my interest, and the Beastie Boys, of course,” she added.
Having already collaborated with the likes Swollen Members and Blackie and the Triumphs, the emerging violinist blends an array of musical styles together within her soundscape.
After finding some success in the resort and even internationally, Kytami knows the financial struggle of performing original music all too well.
“I was playing at the Dubh Linn Gate and I had to quit my real job because I was so busy playing gigs around town, and different corporate gigs and I was doing really well playing with people. Even though it was a bit of struggle, I just kept at it. It was a transition from doing really well to playing original music and making no money.”
Kytami is excited to perform at the Shaker among a rich platter of talent.
“I know it’s going to be an amazing party and I’m brining a full band with me, so it’s going to be pretty mind-blowing,.”
For more information on set times, schedule, location and ticket prices, please visit www.twoacreshaker.com.