British Columbia

Electronic dance music festival set for B.C.'s quiet Robson Valley

Normally, only the solitary whistle of a passing train breaks the silence in B.C.’s Robson Valley. But soon, heavy bass and synthesizers will soon join the chorus.

'We're all there to just indulge in our most primal instincts of being alive,' says organizer

For Levi Macnaughton, mastermind behind the festival, music and nature go hand-in-hand. Mountain Valley Music Festival is set to be held in Loos, in B.C.’s Robson Valley. (Mountain Valley Music Festival/Facebook)

Normally, only the solitary whistle of a passing train breaks the silence in B.C.'s Robson Valley — but soon, heavy bass and synthesizers are set to soon join the chorus.

This summer, the Mountain Valley Music Festival is expected to come to the tiny community of Loos, which is about 160 kilometres east of Prince George.

"Loos is a very, very small, beautiful community," said Levi Macnaughton, mastermind behind the festival.

Macnaughton said the population of Loos peaked in the 1950s when it had a logging mill. These days, only about 40 people live there.

And that's what makes it so perfect for an electric dance festival, Macnaughton says.

"Music festivals are really all about nature," he told Carolyn de Ryk, the host of CBC's Daybreak North.

"We're all there to just indulge in our most primal instincts of being alive."

Other music festivals, like the family-friendly Robson Valley Music Festival, are also held in the area. The Mountain Valley festival is adults-only. (Robson Valley Music Festival/Facebook)

'Can't have enough festivals'

The Mountain Valley Music Festival isn't the only one with its sights set on the area.

The nearby Robson Valley Music Festival is set to run this summer and the Valhalla festival will return to the backwoods near Terrace for a second year in June.

Further south, the annual electronic music festival Shambhala is growing ever popular.

But Macnaughton is not worried about the competition.

"I really don't think you could have enough [festivals], personally," he said.

The response to the festival has been "pretty wild" so far, Macnaughton said, with plenty of support on social media.

The next step for Macnaughton is to work with local authorities to ensure health and safety standards are met at the festival, which will be geared toward adults age 19 and older.

The festival is planning how how to deal with issues that could arise from, or affect an open-air event, such as forest fires or drug overdoses.

"We have definitely taken lots of time to tackle and find the right professionals to handle any of these worst-case scenarios," he said.

"We take it very seriously but, from my experience at music festivals, no one's there to hurt themselves or anybody else."

Normally, only the solitary whistle of a passing train breaks the silence in B.C.'s Robson Valley - but soon, heavy bass and synthesizers will soon join the chorus. 7:11

With files from Daybreak North

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