Max Power is keeping a secret.
The international man of mystery and founder, president and CEO of Radio Contact Productions — hosts of Tall Tree Music Festival, June 21, 22 and 23 in Port Renfrew — has released the lineup for the the third-annual celebration of music, art, community and the environment on Brown’s Mountain, but he won’t say who’s playing when until the gates open Thursday at 4 p.m. — He won’t even tell the bands.
“The Radio Contact team works hard to line up the artists in such a way that the music always flows—so every artist compliments one another. It’s about creating the best possible audience experience, and also about shifting people outside their comfort zones when it comes to music. Maybe they’ll hear something new; maybe it’ll open doors for them; and just maybe it will be an experience they’ll never forget,” says Power by email from Russia where’s the chess enthusiast is monitoring the the local scene.
This year’s lineup includes international electronic heavyweights Mark Farina (founder of Mushroom Jazz), San Francisco’s J Boogie and Austin’s DJ Chicken George alongside some of B.C.’s best: Longwalkshortdock, The Pack A.D., Kyprios, Sweatshop Union, Vince Vaccaro, Kuba Oms, Quoia, Georgia Murray, Steph MacPherson, Carmanah, Sunday Buckets and more. So many more, in fact, that there are more than double the number of performers from last year. Three days for $129.99 works out to $1.94 per act — less than a toonie each.
( Radio Contact curates the bands, while (DJ) John Beaumier of Whitebird Promotions curates the electronic music.)
Power and his team have been working diligently around the clock to make improvements to the more-than-500-acre site, which includes a new camping zones, an improved valley stage with a natural amphitheatre, a larger sound system and the most important change — a path to a tall tree.
“We thought it was important to have an actual tall tree on site,” says Power. “Brown’s Mountain is a development site, so it doesn’t have a lot of old growth, but it’s absolutely amazing to see what old growth looks like.”
Proceeds from the festival will go to support the Ancient Forrest Alliance and their bid to build a boardwalk at the awe-inspiring Avatar Grove, a now-protected 10-hectare stand of 80-meter tall old growth Douglas-fir and western red cedar just 15 minutes from Port Renfrew. The proceeds will also go the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce and to the local rec centre, where Radio Contact has hosted its other festival, Song and Surf.
Power says that one of the best parts of Tall Tree is the community that hosts it and the fact that its remote (out of cell phone range) location means everyone in attendance has to “unplug and tune in.”
“I love the fact that there is no cell coverage in Port Renfrew—it removes one of the biggest distractions and unnecessary conveniences that make up for a huge portion of our day-to-day lives. Coming to Tall Tree forces people to unplug from the modern world and tune in to ours. And it truly is an amazing world waiting out here to be discovered.”
Check out the Tall Tree website for more information, tickets and the Tall Tree Six Pack — a list of values Radio Contact uses to guide the festival. But power says it best: “Make your mother proud. Create, don’t hate.” M
Tall Tree Music Festival
Port Renfrew (1 hour and 40 minutes west of Victoria)
June 21- 23
$129 in advance and $159 at the gate for 3-Day passes, $79.99 for Saturday Only
Adults only/19+ event, 2 pieces of Government ID will be required for entry