Tlellagraph: Rain makes the music tide rise high

Tlellagraph: Rain makes the music tide rise high

Edge of the World Music Festival 2017! We may have been the only place in B.C. that didn’t want rain this weekend, but we sure got some. Yet it didn’t wash away the brilliant music spirit that runs so strong on Haida Gwaii this time of year.

Festival organizers were busy until the last minute getting ready to welcome all our guests by 3:30 p.m. Friday. It always seems like an impossibility that we’ll get it done, but when the opening ceremony kicks us off with the Kuun7laasaas Jaanaas from Old Massett, it all starts happening on its own.

The afternoon slowly heated up with local rockers The Ramoops and Honey Brown, and a local Haida Gwaiian who made it big, Carsen Gray. David Beckingham then took it away, and it reached a whole new level with the magic of Old Soul Rebel.

Friday night’s highlight was certainly JSB, a local Haida artist who ruled the stage and got the dance floor hopping. His positive hip-hop struck the right chord with the audience, evoking the beats and rhythms of Haida Gwaii. Everyone was warmed up for the much anticipated return of DiRTY RADiO — Shady and WASPY brought an unrivalled energy to the stage, and kept the people grooving until the big lights came on.

Saturday was a blur of incredible musical talent and puddles of rain, with The Coastal Drifters, a group of cousins from Terrace catching everyone’s attention. The Dub Jackson Band kept the energy up, but it was the Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aajuu dancers from Skidegate who brought out the sun.

From then on, the weather joined the party and Tlell beat a reputation for what emcee Pete Moore called “not a sky in the cloud.” Kitty &The Rooster featuring Noah Walker took the stage, and though the lyrics may have been a bit much for early evening, their rhythms and talent more than made up for it. Jason Camp and Posers took the vibe and kept it punk-rocking, right into the phenomenal performance by Iskwé — a Björk inspired First Nations artist from The Forks in Winnipeg.

By that point, everyone was more than ready to enjoy the tight sounds of The Zolas, which lead nicely into a energetic set by Joey Stylez. Local Kiefer Collison entertained with a few jokes before DJ WASPY, part of DiRTY RADiO, filled in for DJ Shub. Festival organizers were sad to learn on Friday that DJ Shub was not going to be able to make it, as his dad was slated for emergency surgery and it was decided that it was best Dan stay by his side. Nonetheless, WASPY brought the energy hard, and locals danced up a storm on and off the stage!

Sunday is always a treat, as we enjoy some new music and repeat performances by some of the off-island guests. If you missed the after-party, local DJ legend CMPR spun some gorgeous tunes Sunday afternoon to keep us moving. But the ultimate highlight was the performance by the EOTW Kids music camp. Maiya Robbie and her bandmates spent all weekend working with local youth to prepare for their main stage performance. Adorable, hilarious, and tear-jerking, those kids brought it to the festival grounds. I’m sure many of them will be headlining on stages all over B.C. and the world in years to come!

As the newly formed Weed Xaadee dancers, also form Old Massett, honour us with the closing ceremony, I’m always astounded that it’s all coming to an end.

A solid year of preparation and a monumental volunteer effort is what makes EOTW such an incredible festival. We’d like to thank everyone who came, braved the rain, and enjoyed the amazing music.

See you next year!