This year after returning to Canada I spent the first couple days back resting up and preparing for Astral Harvest Music Festival in Slave Lake AB. No matter how much you prepare, these life-changing places always surprise you. As long as your mind is open, they can present the unimaginable, impress, inspire. Hope you enjoy this little recapturing! Astral Harvest is a music and arts festival in Northern Alberta that keeps growing and growing, and has become a ‘favorite’ for many a festival goer for it’s groundroots feel and community atmosphere, as well as amazing music. This was my first year at the festival and the perfect way to kick off the summer back in Canada as we ripped up north, eager to lace up dem dancin’ boots! I was a volunteer at Astral, which was an amazing experience and something I’d love to do again. Working the main gate you get to meet excited festival goers while hanging out with new friends and contributing to it all. As I learned the hard way, bring your rain gear, including boots, or you could end up praying for feeling back in your wet feet if the storm clouds roll in. No matter the weather, it’s a great gig. With 3 large stages and a couple of smaller ones, as well as workshop spaces, open play areas and whimsical art installations, this was how I imagined Shambhala would be like in it’s infancy. A nice amount of people where if you lose someone you will probably see them again, more intimate stages and a real family vibe. The lineup included a diverse and talented group of artist featuring many awesome homies like Griz, Tipper, Mat the Alien, Far Too Loud, Taiki Nulight, The Librarian, Random Rab, Pumpkin and Goosebumpz, to name a few. Oh yeah. Something that made Astral Harvest great was that it was packed with workshops and things to do during the day as long as you weren’t off sleeping in the grass or down at the river. From Kirtan to yoga to traditional Aboriginal Hoop Dance, Astral had the workshop thing covered, with dedicated and wonderful facilitators that would later meet you on the dancefloor. Also an alcohol free event, Astral Harvest allows children (as long as they are with a parent) and features a cool daytime activity area for the wee ones, letting them get in on the fun and bringing a wholesome vibe to the festivities. Though there weren’t too many food vendor options, I did enjoy some delicious digs from the lovely people at Noorish, serving up the curries and chais like nobodies business. Thank you for a memorable first year to everyone who put on this wonderful event, to all the great friends I made and all the crazy people on the dancefloor gettin’ weird! See you next year, Astral Fam!
Thanks for reading! What are some festivals you love?