FozzyFest SEPT google+ profile banner 2014
WRAPPING UP FESTIVAL SEASON IN STYLE

I caught up with Fozzy Fest head honchos Shawn “Fozzy” Lafleur and Daryl Stanat to get the lowdown on one of the best little sleeper festivals in the West. It began in 2004 as Lafleur’s annual birthday camping trip. He and some friends found a spot in the woods, hauled out some generators and invited their DJ pals to come and spin. Local DJ duo Felonious Funk convinced them to turn this gathering into an actual music festival. Gradually it grew, with word spreading among friends who appreciated the intimate vibes and community atmosphere.
It then morphed into a Canada Day celebration and a special spot at the Livingstone Gap became the go-to location. As it was on Crown land, Fozzy crew members would camp out ahead of time to secure the site. Daryl and Fozzy recounted one year where an angry man with a shotgun and a pickup truck got there first, resulting in some skillful negotiating from the Fozzy crew.

Daryl says, “We’ve always been somewhat of a guerilla festival. We arrive, leave and leave no trace. We leave the area as pristine as possible with no permanent structures, garbage, etc.” However, in 2013, Mother Nature had other ideas. The flooding from June 20th demolished the site.  The Fozzy crew was faced with the heart-breaking choice to cancel the festival.  As Fozzy and Daryl tell it, “Many of us were also displaced by the flooding and we had people searching all over Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC to try and find a new location in two days. We had the cancellation letters ready.”

Finally, a little-known campground on the shore of Lake Koocanusa, B.C., agreed to host the festival. The Fozzy crew rerouted all the DJs and crew to the new site, which was only a few kilometres from the U.S. border. Despite the U.S.A. calling Canada to keep it down, the party was a success and the beautiful beach setting contributed to an even more stunning atmosphere than ever before.
2014 marks the festival’s 10-year anniversary and is being held once again on the shores of Lake Koocanusa. Fozzy and Daryl emphasize the theme of the festival is building relationships. People can bring their own art, be part of it and create a community. It starts with the organizing committee and goes from there. This year, headliners include U.K. D’n’B legend Maldini (from Bad Company U.K.), Germany’s Marten Hørger (from Smash Hifi) and many talented local Canadian DJs.

Fozzy Fest runs from September 18-21, 2014. All info can be found at www.fozzyfest.com

By: Marisha Shegda

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