What if your favorite music festival wasn't just a festival for music? What if it gave you a sense of belonging to a community, finding and supporting small businesses and musicians, being in a clean and fresh environment, didn't take a toll on your wallet, had fresh fruits, sunny days, cool nights, a fresh river right there, wine country a hop away, helicopter tours across the fairground, wasn't overcrowded with hooligans, was family friendly, served as a full-on vacation, AND had spectacular weekend camping?   Sounds a little too utopic for ya? Well, for me, it's Ponde, ponde PONDEROSA!   Ponderosa is a 3 day long Art and Music festival taking place in Rock Creek, BC every August. This past summer, we all celebrated 3 years of Freshness together, under ponderosa trees and countless stars. Technically, it's been going on since 2013, making it 4 summers- but the festival was cancelled at the last minute in 2015, due to the wildfires in the Rock Creek area. The organizers, Kris and Kia, rallied the support of their fans and community,  got that dirt off their shoulder, and made an amazing comeback this year.  They even held numerous fundraisers to help the families and business in the Rock Creek area to help them recover from the devastating fire.  And they brought sexy back.  Every year, the men of Ponderosa make an even better comeback. Every year, the attendees come from far away places to be reunited and to introduce new members to this family of tree lovers. Every year, the festival becomes more fresh. Next year, you should be there.      It's hard to describe a feeling, but I will try and tell you a few things I love and appreciate about this sorta new festival and why it's been my main music event of the year.    

 

 

 

What if your favorite music festival wasn't just a festival for music? What if it gave you a sense of belonging to a community, finding and supporting small businesses and musicians, being in a clean and fresh environment, didn't take a toll on your wallet, had fresh fruits, sunny days, cool nights, a fresh river right there, wine country a hop away, helicopter tours across the fairground, wasn't overcrowded with hooligans, was family friendly, served as a full-on vacation, AND had spectacular weekend camping? 

Sounds a little too utopic for ya? Well, for me, it's Ponde, ponde PONDEROSA! 

Ponderosa is a 3 day long Art and Music festival taking place in Rock Creek, BC every August. This past summer, we all celebrated 3 years of Freshness together, under ponderosa trees and countless stars. Technically, it's been going on since 2013, making it 4 summers- but the festival was cancelled at the last minute in 2015, due to the wildfires in the Rock Creek area. The organizers, Kris and Kia, rallied the support of their fans and community, got that dirt off their shoulder, and made an amazing comeback this year. They even held numerous fundraisers to help the families and business in the Rock Creek area to help them recover from the devastating fire.

And they brought sexy back.

Every year, the men of Ponderosa make an even better comeback. Every year, the attendees come from far away places to be reunited and to introduce new members to this family of tree lovers. Every year, the festival becomes more fresh. Next year, you should be there. 

 

It's hard to describe a feeling, but I will try and tell you a few things I love and appreciate about this sorta new festival and why it's been my main music event of the year. 

 

The Campground

 Look at this little Village. LOOK AT IT!   As you can see in the pictures below and above, Ponderosa is a bit of a sharing community, whether it comes to your camping supplies or your musical instrument. As if spending the weekend with everyone under the stars listening to amazing music isn't enough, you get to be neighbors and a little village together with your fellow Ponderosans.    There are two ways to book your campground at Ponderosa: River Side or the other side. River side camping is pretty self explanatory. On this side, you find the bathrooms and showers, but also tons of ponderosa trees to hang a hammock from, find shade during the morning and afternoon delicious sunny hours, and a lavish lazy river (hence the riverside). I'm a bit torn selling you on this upgrade option, because it means less room for me and my friends to do cart wheels and yoga on. But if you're wondering if it's worth it, Yes. It's the best 25$ buck you'll ever spend. Ya that's right, upgrading to the riverside campground is a wooping 25$. Ever found a deal that good before? I didn't think so.   Riverside camping is limited of course, but don't worry. The river is still accessible to those who don't get the upgrade. And camping is just a few steps away over the fence on pretty fresh grass.   Some of you may be thinking, "well, I'm not huge on camping- I'm more of a glamper". In which case, you can dish out the extra money and get a the Teepee treatment. Prime location, right by the river. They are big, and you can share it with several of your friends and have a big after party in it. Check out the photo below! 

Look at this little Village. LOOK AT IT!

As you can see in the pictures below and above, Ponderosa is a bit of a sharing community, whether it comes to your camping supplies or your musical instrument. As if spending the weekend with everyone under the stars listening to amazing music isn't enough, you get to be neighbors and a little village together with your fellow Ponderosans. 

There are two ways to book your campground at Ponderosa: River Side or the other side. River side camping is pretty self explanatory. On this side, you find the bathrooms and showers, but also tons of ponderosa trees to hang a hammock from, find shade during the morning and afternoon delicious sunny hours, and a lavish lazy river (hence the riverside). I'm a bit torn selling you on this upgrade option, because it means less room for me and my friends to do cart wheels and yoga on. But if you're wondering if it's worth it, Yes. It's the best 25$ buck you'll ever spend. Ya that's right, upgrading to the riverside campground is a wooping 25$. Ever found a deal that good before? I didn't think so. 

Riverside camping is limited of course, but don't worry. The river is still accessible to those who don't get the upgrade. And camping is just a few steps away over the fence on pretty fresh grass. 

Some of you may be thinking, "well, I'm not huge on camping- I'm more of a glamper". In which case, you can dish out the extra money and get a the Teepee treatment. Prime location, right by the river. They are big, and you can share it with several of your friends and have a big after party in it. Check out the photo below! 

The River

 These hammocks belong to me and my friend Maya. We set up camp there all weekend and enjoyed the passing of the hours, the gentle sound of the river, great music coming from neighbors, twinkling stars, and a few naps. This year the weather was so nice that I spent one night in my hammock. Sleeping bags are definitely recommended. Cuddles optional.   I mentioned this place is a place for community. That means at no point did I feel the need to worry about leaving my hammock there or the risk of having it stolen. I did get a lot of compliments in my placement. Not going to lie, I put it on a very sketchy ledge. But hey, when you find the perfect view, you make it happen.   The fairground is right by Kettle River. It's a shallow lazy river. You can just set up your chair in a sunny spot, or bring your floaties and float on down the river. There are shuttle that pick you up and bring you back up to the festival so you barely have to do anything! Given that the stage is right on the other side of the river, you can either use the sound of music as your clock, or you can just choose to enjoy the music from your chair, or floatie. Just don't litter- that's not cool. Bring an ashtray and collect your beer cans. 

These hammocks belong to me and my friend Maya. We set up camp there all weekend and enjoyed the passing of the hours, the gentle sound of the river, great music coming from neighbors, twinkling stars, and a few naps. This year the weather was so nice that I spent one night in my hammock. Sleeping bags are definitely recommended. Cuddles optional. 

I mentioned this place is a place for community. That means at no point did I feel the need to worry about leaving my hammock there or the risk of having it stolen. I did get a lot of compliments in my placement. Not going to lie, I put it on a very sketchy ledge. But hey, when you find the perfect view, you make it happen. 

The fairground is right by Kettle River. It's a shallow lazy river. You can just set up your chair in a sunny spot, or bring your floaties and float on down the river. There are shuttle that pick you up and bring you back up to the festival so you barely have to do anything! Given that the stage is right on the other side of the river, you can either use the sound of music as your clock, or you can just choose to enjoy the music from your chair, or floatie. Just don't litter- that's not cool. Bring an ashtray and collect your beer cans. 

The Fairground

 Oh how lovely it is, that moment you have picked up your wrist band from the ticket counter, and you leisurely walk into the fairground to go find your hosts for the weekend, veteran Ponderosa attendees, the food stands, the art exhibition, and the vendors. The grass is always so nice and fresh, the people so slow and smiley, and the colors just BAAAM- in your face.       EATS   There is always a fresh fruit stand at Ponderosa. Ross picks up the fruits from his orchard located in Oliver, which is right around the West side of Lake Osoyoos- fresh AND local. He even brings a selection of pickled vegetables, jams, and homemade soaps.  This festival actually left me feeling more healthy than my normal week.    New food trucks and food vendors appear as the needs of the festival changes and grows, but this year we enjoyed pancakes in the morning, craft coffee, coconut deserts, and thai food. Along with the fresh environmental theme of the festival, the coffee cart featured reusable mugs that you could borrow for the whole weekend for a small deposit. Why put your coffee in a paper cup, right Nick?    VENDORS:   This festival brings artists of all genres together. Painters, vintage clothing collectors, t-shirt printers, banjo and jewelry makers, whatever it is that you do, there is a place for you in this festival. Painters display their art, and can also setup their aisle by the stages and paint as they enjoy the afternoon sun, live music, and friendly smiles.   I have found a cozy wool sweater, a vintage blue purse, and a ponderosa essential oil from the festival. My friend found 2 amazing pieces of jewelry and actually gave me one of her rock earrings (we each wear one, cause of love).    YOGA:   Every morning, there is free yoga on the grass. You can either bring your mat, or you can enjoy the soft grass. Might be a bit slippery and misty, but you might feel very grounded- literally.    WASTE:   All around the camp ground and fair ground, you could find waste, recycle, AND compost bins. Now that's freshness.    

Oh how lovely it is, that moment you have picked up your wrist band from the ticket counter, and you leisurely walk into the fairground to go find your hosts for the weekend, veteran Ponderosa attendees, the food stands, the art exhibition, and the vendors. The grass is always so nice and fresh, the people so slow and smiley, and the colors just BAAAM- in your face. 

 

EATS

There is always a fresh fruit stand at Ponderosa. Ross picks up the fruits from his orchard located in Oliver, which is right around the West side of Lake Osoyoos- fresh AND local. He even brings a selection of pickled vegetables, jams, and homemade soaps. This festival actually left me feeling more healthy than my normal week. 

New food trucks and food vendors appear as the needs of the festival changes and grows, but this year we enjoyed pancakes in the morning, craft coffee, coconut deserts, and thai food. Along with the fresh environmental theme of the festival, the coffee cart featured reusable mugs that you could borrow for the whole weekend for a small deposit. Why put your coffee in a paper cup, right Nick? 

VENDORS:

This festival brings artists of all genres together. Painters, vintage clothing collectors, t-shirt printers, banjo and jewelry makers, whatever it is that you do, there is a place for you in this festival. Painters display their art, and can also setup their aisle by the stages and paint as they enjoy the afternoon sun, live music, and friendly smiles. 

I have found a cozy wool sweater, a vintage blue purse, and a ponderosa essential oil from the festival. My friend found 2 amazing pieces of jewelry and actually gave me one of her rock earrings (we each wear one, cause of love). 

YOGA:

Every morning, there is free yoga on the grass. You can either bring your mat, or you can enjoy the soft grass. Might be a bit slippery and misty, but you might feel very grounded- literally. 

WASTE:

All around the camp ground and fair ground, you could find waste, recycle, AND compost bins. Now that's freshness. 

 

The Music

 Ever walk into a party, and feel the urge to shazam every song because they are super awesome and you've never heard them before?  Kia and Kris are groovy dudes with good taste in music. They feature a lot of Canadian up and coming artists, and they never disappoint. The lineup ranges from country, to pure rock n' roll, DJ sets, deep house, folk, indie, electronic, jazzy blues, did I miss one?  My spotify playlist is still bumping with finds from Ponderosa 2013. I can't wait to hear the 2017 lineup!    On Friday, the music starts around 9pm, giving everyone a chance to settle in and camp up, and find their dancing shoes. Unlike other festivals where you have to leave by 11 pm, the party goes on until well into the am. And once the last band finished playing, well you have just gotten a taste of what the next two days will bring about.   Music starts late in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, giving you the whole morning to enjoy the company of your friends, and maybe even explore the wineries.   Music festivals typically feel exhausting, like you can barely handle another song, like you've been saturated with an intensive schedule, and can't catch all the bands. With their chill vibes, their alternating stages, and their awesome selection, you won't really feel that at Ponderosa. You can sit back at one of the benches when your energy is tapped out, or get right up to the stage when the song just grabs and pulls you. The grass is clean and fresh, the river is RIGHT THERE, your tent is RIGHT THERE. You can do whatever you need to recharge and come back and join the dance party- or sit it out entirely, we don't judge. The festival incidentally happens around the August meteor showers- so you can lose yourself in trance while making wish after wish and making up names for constellations. Seriously, the stars are ridiculous over Rock Creek.    

Ever walk into a party, and feel the urge to shazam every song because they are super awesome and you've never heard them before?

Kia and Kris are groovy dudes with good taste in music. They feature a lot of Canadian up and coming artists, and they never disappoint. The lineup ranges from country, to pure rock n' roll, DJ sets, deep house, folk, indie, electronic, jazzy blues, did I miss one? My spotify playlist is still bumping with finds from Ponderosa 2013. I can't wait to hear the 2017 lineup! 

On Friday, the music starts around 9pm, giving everyone a chance to settle in and camp up, and find their dancing shoes. Unlike other festivals where you have to leave by 11 pm, the party goes on until well into the am. And once the last band finished playing, well you have just gotten a taste of what the next two days will bring about. 

Music starts late in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, giving you the whole morning to enjoy the company of your friends, and maybe even explore the wineries. 

Music festivals typically feel exhausting, like you can barely handle another song, like you've been saturated with an intensive schedule, and can't catch all the bands. With their chill vibes, their alternating stages, and their awesome selection, you won't really feel that at Ponderosa. You can sit back at one of the benches when your energy is tapped out, or get right up to the stage when the song just grabs and pulls you. The grass is clean and fresh, the river is RIGHT THERE, your tent is RIGHT THERE. You can do whatever you need to recharge and come back and join the dance party- or sit it out entirely, we don't judge. The festival incidentally happens around the August meteor showers- so you can lose yourself in trance while making wish after wish and making up names for constellations. Seriously, the stars are ridiculous over Rock Creek. 

 

The farewell

 Everyone brings awesome friends to Ponderosa. So it comes as no surprise that it's tough to leave this place. We strolled through every nook and cranny, found everyone we needed to say our goodbyes to, ate some fresh fruit and returned out reusable mugs right after a strong double espresso, tore down our tents and hammocks, and was finally on our way to San Francisco. That's right, we drove from San Francisco to Rock Creek for this festival. It's truly worth it.

Everyone brings awesome friends to Ponderosa. So it comes as no surprise that it's tough to leave this place. We strolled through every nook and cranny, found everyone we needed to say our goodbyes to, ate some fresh fruit and returned out reusable mugs right after a strong double espresso, tore down our tents and hammocks, and was finally on our way to San Francisco. That's right, we drove from San Francisco to Rock Creek for this festival. It's truly worth it.

Tell your friends.

 What makes this festival so special year after year are the people. If you come to this festival, you're a part of a very chill family.   So tell your friends about this fresh new festival, put Rock Creek on your map, follow the Ponderosa journey, and a be part of this growing movement of freshness.   Later gators.   If you're convinced, head on over to their webpage, mark your calendars, and prepare for an unforgettable weekend.    http://www.ponderosafestival.com/    

What makes this festival so special year after year are the people. If you come to this festival, you're a part of a very chill family. 

So tell your friends about this fresh new festival, put Rock Creek on your map, follow the Ponderosa journey, and a be part of this growing movement of freshness. 

Later gators. 

If you're convinced, head on over to their webpage, mark your calendars, and prepare for an unforgettable weekend. 

http://www.ponderosafestival.com/