Article By Richard Oakley
Nestled in the picturesque interior of British Columbia is Snug Lake Amphitheater, home of Element Music Festival. All the way up in the stunning highlands of the Okanagan-Similkameen Valley, geographically far from the typical US-bound jam festival circuit, EMF is also far from your typical festival experience, centered around truly improvised jams more so than an overflowing schedule.
The Snug Lake site allows for panoramic views of the Northern Cascade Mountains with a clean, refreshing lake that is great for swimming, floating, or fishing all afternoon– a quick dip in the morning makes for the perfect way to start your day. Surrounding the festival site are miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that will lead you deeper into the wilderness for breathtaking scenery. The campgrounds sit atop a large flat ridge that overlooks the main stage area and lake with a gorgeous mountainous backdrop. Camping is easy to access and there is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the natural environment surrounding Snug Lake. EMF does a fantastic job of providing built-in time throughout the day to explore everything Snug Lake has to offer.
Headlining this year will be Jamtronica pioneers, Lotus, to play six sets over three nights. Lotus has been an important pillar in the jam community since the late 90s, bringing silky smooth instrumental jams to the table with a soundscape that expands upon progressive rock and funk, and combines it with the popular flow of electronic beats. They will be joined by one of the hottest up-and-coming jam bands in Spafford, who have been carving out a big name for themselves with tight musicianship, catchy vocals, and prolonged improvisational forrays that sometimes last for entire sets. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will bring some welcomed new age funk to the mix, fitting in nicely with the rest of the genre-defying lineup, including Particle, Genetics, Yak Attack, McTuff, GD/BC, The Unfaithful Servants, Baked Potato, and Naryan Padmanahba. The artists-at-large are especially exciting, with Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick from the Trey Anastasio Band, and returning from last year, Jason Hann, percussionist of the String Cheese Incident. You can be sure to see many of these artists play together over the weekend, and everyone will want to keep an ear out for each of the “surprise sets” on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. These pop-up performances are the pride and joy of the Element Festival team, and will most definitely be unique moments in jam history.
Get tickets now at elementfestival.info!