Festival aims for 3rd year by popular demand

Sequels rarely outshine their original but the West Coast just watched the Otalith Music Festival hit its second pitch out of the park.

About 1,100 locals and tourists basked in Otalith’s positive vibrations over the weekend and initial feedback strongly suggests the house was rocked.

The festival is a local fundraiser run by the Pacific Rim Music

Festival Society and the society’s communications and marketing director Jessie Fletcher said the society had high expectations that last year’s first-ever Otalith could be topped.

“I think we nailed the expectations,”

she told the Westerly on Monday.

“Based on all the social-mediasite-feedback, and the people I saw and talked to, everybody was super stoked. We were called the

‘kindest festival in the world,’ which really made me incredibly happy to hear.”

The society hand-picked 15 bands to spread musical love across the West Coast on Friday and Saturday and the musicians loved what they saw, according to Fletcher.

“The artists were super stoked and really positive with their feedback, and have told us that we’re on the road to being what we want to be,” she said.

A key addition to this year’s festival was a Friday night show in Tofino where five bands and a DJ played to a sold out audience at the Tofino Brewing Company.

“It’s been a little bit tough for us to get a lot of buy-in from Tofino and I think this really nailed it for them because we got to bring what we’re all about to their backyard

and to a venue they’re comfortable with and that turned into a lot of weekend tickets for us,” Fletcher said.

She highlighted Austin, Texasbased

Bright Light Social Hour who she said “put on an incredible show,” in Tofino.

“We had never been up to Tofino and we got in last night and we’ve been blown away by it. It’s so gorgeous up here,” Bright Light Social Hour member Jack O’Brien told the Westerly prior to hitting the stage.

With no other festival of its kind happening on the West Coast, Otalith has quickly become an important draw for traveling music enthusiasts.

“We really want to bring world class, beautiful, music to this really beautiful world-class destination,” Fletcher said.

“It’s a great way to come and really experience the area, we put out a vibe that’s really consistent with what we feel our community is like…We’re a community that’s super positive and stoked.”

Fletcher noted local, and visiting, families were welcomed into the stoke as Saturday’s Ucluelet fairgrounds brought a family-friendly vibe that parents enjoyed with their kids.

“It’s relaxed, it’s mellow, it’s fun and the music is outstanding,” she said.

With 2014 in the books, the society will take a few weeks to recuperate before getting amped on blueprinting next year’s scene.

“Hopefully in the next few days all the feedback we get is positive and we’ll regroup in about two weeks and go from there,” Fletcher said noting talks for next year’s festival began before Saturday night’s headliner wrapped up.

“While the Allah-Las were playing we were talking about how we could do it even better next year.”

She hinted towards potential changes being stirred into the mix including a possible musical spillover into Sunday.

“I think if we could make it one more day it would be rad,” Fletcher said adding a second stage might also be brought in. “We have a lot of ideas it’s just sitting down and seeing what’s possible.”

She is stoked to bring another festival to West Coasters next year.

“It’s something special that theirs and they should own it. We have a music festival. It’s world class. It’s awesome.”

reporter@westerlynews.ca