Byron runs and books The Grove stage at Shambhala, as well as producing / promoting other events [including the awesome Kamp Festival] and he dj's as Footprints. Naasko and Andrew spent some time with Byron and asked him a few questions...
The Grove at Shambhala is an exciting addition to an already incredible festival - what is the overall creative vision behind the stage, and how is it different from the other stages?
Our creative vision comes from the gnomes, caretakers of the earth. Our plan is to fully restore the forest, and create a lush inspiring setting filled with plant life, gardens, tree houses and waterfalls. Every stage at Shambhala has it's own vibe and design - that's what makes it so special. We are lucky enough to hold the most territory on the ranch, which allows us to design many different areas for each element of festival culture.
On the music front, you've put together another top notch line up for the Grove this year. What went into curating the music programming? What are you most stoked for this year?
To be honest, a lot of the music is what I've been playing out for the past year or 2. It's like going shopping for my favourite music…but to perform on a stage we built. Quite surreal. I'm most stoked for Bonobo, the return of Tipper, Rising Appalachia and a lot of the deep stuff - Leon Switch, Synkro, Biome, Jafu.
There's obviously a lot more to the Grove besides just the music - what else does this zone feature?
The Grove hosts 2 music stages, a tea lounge, art gallery, day time workshops, art installations and gnomes.
You've recently sparked a new festival this summer called Kamp. What sets this event apart from many of the other summer festivals in BC?
Kamp Festival has a bit of a different concept from most music festivals. We are essentially recreating the summer camp experience, for adults.. And incorporating our festival culture and values through music, art, and performance. Day time is loaded with recreation, education, workshops and games. At night we have an amazing music line up, art gallery with live painters, and Kampers market featuring local foods and artisan goods. The festival is being produced by a lot of the Grove team - I'm very excited to see where the concept takes us.
What got you into DJ'ing initially and when did you decide to start producing events?
I first started going to raves in the late 90s early 2000s. The underground culture captivated me and I admired the art of sharing music. I produced my first event in Winnipeg in 2003. Two years later, I decided to move to the Kootenays and study Event Management at College of the Rockies. I started AreaOne Events in 2005 and haven't looked back.
You've been a promoter for many years and have produced countless shows around the area and coordinated tours with several notable world class acts, particularly in the breaks, glitch hop and bass scene - what are some of the highlights?
There have been many highlights over the years for different reasons - all appropriate for their time. Renegade bush party with Krafty Kuts… Dub FX first performance in Canada… My 30th birthday full moon... Recently I did a tour of Western Canada with Opiuo. We sold out 9/10 shows across BC and Alberta and had some epic times.
What is the most amusing rider request you’ve had to deal with?
Skratch Bastid has a pack of Tropical Skittles in his rider. I've also had 1 x 32oz jar of Claussen Kosher Dill Pickles, and... "In the event of a riot or civil disorder, which jeopardizes the safety of the artists, the artists management may cancel the event with no prejudice to the payment in full".
What do you do to chill out?
I'm not sure if I do chill out much really… I mean, I'm pretty chill. But if I have free time i'm usually out hiking, or biking or doing something outdoors.
For people who haven’t been fortunate enough to visit BC yet can you list 5 places / things to do that they check out?
BC is the land of local secrets. I would definitely explore the coast and check out some of the Gulf Islands. Vancouver and Victoria are hotspots for music and entertainment. For myself - I love the outdoors. So moving inland is definitely where it's at. Mountains, lakes, rivers, trails, hot springs, wildlife. There's so much to see. But definitely don't try skiing at Whitewater, that place is terrible.
Nelson and Shambhala are in the Kootenay region - what makes this area special?
The people. The mountains. The music. There's so much.
Where are you headed with music and events?
In between all my projects, I do plan to put more focus on my own music. But I foresee that more as a hobby. I'm very happy where I'm at with the events I'm working on. Shambhala is opening a new club this summer that will give new opportunity in Nelson. Very excited to help build on our already healthy music community in the Kootenays.
For more about Byron, AreaOne Events, Kamp and the Grove stage visit: