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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Submitted
BC VOTES 2020: John Rustad re-elected in Nechako Lakes riding

The result is based on preliminary vote count and the final results will be available after Nov.6

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Shea Long roosts in the Shoot Out in the Telkwa Range. (SnoRiders, Houston/Shea Long photo)
Telkwa Range snowmobiling permit lottery opens

Application period is Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 for snowmobiliers and skiers to gain access to Starr Basin

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read