It’s only fitting that a music festival located on the far West Coast of Vancouver Island has claims to being the most intimate music festival in the world. Otalith Music Festival involves small venues in Tofino and a cozy main stage in Ucluelet at the Loggersports Pavilion for two-three days in August each year. Right next-door to the main stage, festivalgoers take over the Ucluelet Campground. Combo weekend passes that include camping rank close to the cheapest music festival tickets around.
Sensing a lack in the music scene, a group came together in the creation of the Pacific Rim Music Festival Society. Despite grumbling from some Ucluelet locals who relish the year-round peace the small harbour town offers, a music festival was exactly what the coast needed. Not only does the location lend to a perfect music festival mood with its mystic trees, ocean energy and ethereal beauty, but it promotes coastal tourism and community through music and art.
Since the first event in 2013, Otalith has only grown in popularity. In fact, attendance has nearly doubled every year since. 2016 tickets sold out a month before the event and, as 2017 neared, a decision needed to be made: should the capacity be increased, or should Otalith maintain its original vision as an intimate West Coast music festival? As February 9th, the ticket presale release date, approached, a decision was reached. Otalith Music Festival’s growth would be capped at 1500 tickets, preserving its intimacy and uniqueness. The Presale and Early Bird passes sold out within two weeks.
Throughout the years, Otalith’s planning and organization neared perfection. With a beer garden within festival grounds and an eclectic music mix of local and international talent, plus a shuttle bus between the two towns, everything has been thought of. They’ve boasted artists like Jesse Roper, Jon and Roy, Current Swell, The Dodo’s and even Shakey Graves. As the festival gains momentum in the music world, it’s only bound to get better. The best part though? At the end of the day, all proceeds are donated towards local initiatives. Otalith Music Festival has become an integral part to entertainment and community on the West Coast, bringing likeminded and energetic festivalgoers to the rugged scenery of one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
This year, Otalith is on August 18th and 19th: www.otalithfestival.com
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk