Cumberland is well known for its role as the Valley’s music hot spot, and the crowning jewel for the Cumberland Village Works crew is their outdoor summer festival. This year the Atmosphere Gathering takes place in Cumberland Village Park on August 19-21. Their artistically edgy event continues to evolve, and this year the focus is on creating an interactive dance experience with musicians, hot djs, dancers, workshops and circus acrobatics. The music itself includes electronic dance beats, but this year branches out to include a variety of high caliber international and local live bands. The music and workshops have been programmed with intention to promote a peaceful vibe that will be accessible to Cumberland residents and the entire Comox Valley community. Artistic Director Vig Schulman explains, “ This event reaches out to all music lovers who live in and around Cumberland.”
Atmosphere 2016 has three unique stages. The Atmosphere saddlespan features live bands and hosts several of the festival’s well-known headliners. Vancouver dance favorites Delhi2Dublin will bring their popular dance grooves that fuse electric fiddle with the Indian Sitar. Frazey Ford, the grown in BC voice of the Be Good Tanyas, has just won her first Juno Award, and will grace the Atmosphere stage to showcase her successful new solo album. The Soul Rebels, a 6 piece New Orleans brass orchestra, are sure to be crowd pleasers at Atmosphere, just as they are every where else they play, and Calgary’s powerful songstress Kinnie Starr will mesmerize.
The second Atmosphere stage is a massive circus tent that will be set up in the park by a crew of 12 professionals to accommodate circus performances and the electronic heart of the festival. You can catch Fractal Tribe in the Atmosphere big top. This ‘Cirque de Soleil’ style troupe from Boulder, Colorado presents an unforgettable magical mix of circus acrobats and kinesthetic festival theatre. Other big top performances include Sweden’s electronic sensation Liquid Stranger, and a host of DJ favorites from the Comox Valley and beyond. The woodland forest stage will be set up in the shade for daytime bands, and a gorgeous line-up of dance performances such as the beautiful Farima Berenji from Iran, and local Queen of movement, Cathy Stoyko.
Atmosphere Gathering is an intimate event with about 1500 tickets available to maintain a spacious and family friendly vibe. Food and an assortment of vendors line the outskirts of the festival to fill the belly and inspire the senses. Herbal and healthy refreshments will be served once again at the woodland Elixir bar. Alcohol is not on site but only a short walk away at the Brewery patio. The largest teepee on Vancouver Island will be set up to host interactive workshops such as tea ceremonies, yoga, crafting, bodywork, and quiet contemplation. Educational guided forest walks through the adjacent forest are available for the curious to learn about local plant life. Finally, for those who like to party into the wee hours, Atmosphere Gathering will host a Silent Disco. 500 headphones are available to rent so revellers can continue to enjoy dj beats long after the village has gone to sleep. Headphones can be rented in advance online when you purchase your tickets.
Tickets to the three-day event are $160 until July 15 and available online at www.cumberlandvillageworks.com, at Bop City Records in Courtenay, and the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland. The weekend schedule will be released on June 21 and day passes will be available. Ample camping is available onsite.