Fireside Festival 2018 photo: contributed

Fireside Festival’s flame grows for sixth anniversary

The Kelowna music festival celebrates B.C. music

The home-grown Fireside Festival will celebrate its sixth anniversary as an even bigger and better event.

The two-day festival supports local bands, putting them on stage in front of an audience made up of 450 music lovers and musicians.

Founder Aaron Desilva, who started the festival in his living room in 2013, plans this year to feature B.C.-based bands, magicians, belly dancers, a tarot card reader and other artists.

“It’s (Kelowna) where I live, I feel supporting local community has a lot of longevity for events. I am a part of the music scene and I want to help everybody out,” said Desilva. “I see where it’s going, next year we have big expansion plans.”

Though Desilva couldn’t reveal what those plans are, he says this year ticket holders will not only hear the diverse line-up but will also learn a little bit about them before their set from MC Heather Leslie, who also runs the social media pages for the festival and who has worked with Desilva since the festival’s inception.

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“I hope to give a little bit of back story to bring (the audience) in and have them buy into the band a little more,” said Leslie. “Cultivating presence, especially on Sunday and with the acoustic sets, it’ll be more ‘this is why you are here, to see live music,’ instead of being a passive observer so they connect a little more on that level.”

The personal touch is important to both Desilva and Leslie as the festival, created as “a cure for the winter blues,” grows.

“It is very niche to do something like this in the winter because here everyone focuses on the summer, so I was just trying to fill that gap because the end of January is super depressing,” said Desilva. “I really chose that time specifically to be that positive light in the Okanagan in this weird time of year.”

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The line-up on Sunday has been designed to have several peaks instead of one steady build up to headliners. Desilva says he designed it that way so the crowd will maintain its focus on the music and connect with the solo artists who are sprinkled throughout the night along with the hard rockers.

“It’s rooted in supporting and showcasing these really talented people who may not be seen by big crowds like that, because there are a lot of artists who have a niche following, especially locally,” said Desilva.

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The two-day festival will feature an afternoon of free music at The Bean Scene’s downtown location, then the kick-off party Saturday, Jan. 26 at BNA . The main festival day on Sunday, Jan. 27 will run from 2 p.m. until midnight.

Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.ca

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