Written by: Geordy Carson
These days it’s rare to find a music festival that doesn’t entail organizers who are profit-driven, that its primary initiative is simply good music and good people, and that doesn’t have a tarnished reputation (for numerous reasons). There’s a handful that are out there which achieve a positive result for all who participate. And if you’re looking for a celebration over the Canada Day weekend to camp and dance under the stars, you’ll want to keep reading.
Back in 2005 a close knit group of friends headed out to Kananaskis country to celebrate a few mutual birthdays and get away from the claustrophobic urban clubs. To dance and party under the stars. The following July they did it again. FozzyFest became one of those secrets that few people knew about but wouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend. They came to let go of their stresses for the weekend and watch their friends spin some deep and groovy dance music. And the word spread. There were no fights, no pretentious attitudes, and no irresponsibility. Everyone understood what kind of respect that’s required to enjoy a party, who’s sole intention is to indulge in the simple joys in life : good friends, good music, and dancing. Now in its 6th year, FozzyFest has maintained its status as a worthy event for those who don’t want to be a part of the regular fare of outdoor festivals. Its attraction is the positive vibe that keeps people coming back year after year.
The event is held on Crown land in co-operation with Park Wardens and R.C.M.P. The handful of organizers meet with officials every year to negotiate the use of the site and comply with their requests of respecting the land and others who wish to enjoy it for camping. Normally a party of this calibre is met with resistance from both Park Wardens and R.C.M.P. with good reasoning. However, a mutual co-operation and respect continues between both parties. The land is cleaner than it was found when the festival is through every year. There are no reservations against any officials to visit and inspect during the event. In turn, Park Wardens assisted in finding a better site last year after the organizers raised concerns over other campers wishing to bring their horses and camp on the same weekend.
“We can’t just set up our festival and not consider that we can potentially create a negative impact on other people and animals in the vicinity. We have to share the same area with respect for everyone’s peace. So spooking horses was out of the question.” says Shawn LaFleur, one of the primary organizers and investors for FozzyFest. “The site now is better than previous years. We probably wouldn’t have found it had we not voiced our concerns to the Park Wardens. They appreciate that we have a zero tolerance for lack of respect and that we genuinely take responsibility for the site and the well-being of the attendees to our festival. Their help and co-operation has been invaluable.”
Celebrating its 6th year, the festival is bringing Calgary’s own Homebreakin’ Records (Neighbour, Cal Bass, GSD, Audit), Jon Delerious, Flatland Funk from Saskatchewan, Joel West from Nelson, B.C., plus a solo acoustic set from Rob Medwid. There are upwards of 30 artists performing on 3 outdoor stages, washroom facilities on site, lots of space to camp, and breathtaking scenery in southern Kananaskis. Camping in the vicinity can bring varied conditions from scorching sun to high winds and rain. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared to brave the elements and the forest dance floor.
See you at this year’s ‘Party Under The Stars’.