Near the end of July, Electric Love Music Festival welcomed 2500 beings to beautiful Cheam, outside of Vancouver, Canada, for the a 50th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love. Armed with a camera and open hearts, Sean The Hip Hop Cowboy and the Lovely Sara ventured forth to bring back a story of love. Feast your eyes on this fabled festival hidden within the cornfields.
Upon arrival we quickly found a perfect spot for our modest campsite. We set up a wonderfully shaded structure shrouded in tapestries and blankets, filled with some comfy amenities and function. A cozy den to call a festival-home. Quickly finished, we eagerly set off to see the stages and “town.”
On our expedition to the main area we came across some familiar faces from past parties, it was both heartwarming and energizing. We stopped at a lovely karma station that some campers set up for love filled open trades. These swapping stations are always a favourite to watch evolve throughout the festival, to see what new and wonderfully weird and wacky things show up every day.
For such a young festival we were extremely impressed with the attention to detail and overall layout of the “town.” It was easy to navigate and visually pleasing, perfect for blissful frolicking but also offering quick journeys wherever you chose. There was a beautiful backdrop of the river and mountain making the experience that much more awe inspiring. Various vendors and people filled picnic tables connecting the stages in a linear fashion with a bonus forest alley branching off.
The forested alley was full of captivating art with artists displaying their incredible work or painting live, be it on large mediums or intriguing antique pages. The unicorns were out in full force, and the tunes were bumping. Diversity and love were flowing freely at every turn: from the vibrant vendors to the tireless staff and the many fantastical people. We were loving what we had stumbled into.
The first stage we ventured to was The Zen Den. This place was it – bumping deep trance tracks and tapestries encompassing you in a forested embrace. It felt like home, a familiar rhythm brought comfort and dance. This area was a great change of pace offering genres not always included in other festivals.
Next we passed through The Arcade. This was the host of the legendary BBoy Competition, and was throwing down dirty bass all weekend long with awesome splashes of Hip-Hop. The party was always alive here, with so many energetic artists setting the pace.
Set alongside the gorgeous Fraser River was The Wormhole beach stage. Jamming all the feels, this was the place to be to beat that mid day heat. Weather you were dancing deep in the Fraser River or up front on the sandy dance floor, you were sure to feel the summer love here. This was a sun filled wonderland.
When we needed some shade we wandered just off the beach to The Nest, which was hosting bad ass bands by day and funky bass by night. This was Electric Love’s main stage and was accompanied by the most spectacular lasers we’ve ever witnessed, they danced clear across the river onto our stunning mountain backdrop to create a second visual display that was equally as captivating as the stage.
We were pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to speak with Peter P, creator of the Turn Temple. He told us about his after-school turntable sessions on Vancouver Island and his inspiration. We were lucky enough to be able to captured some of this thoughts, and long story short: “Love is supreme!”
The nights and days were wonderfully different, both offering amazing audio and visual delights. We found ourselves flourishing after the sun set. It was a pleasure to wander in to see what was happening at the stages every night, and what kind of outrageously great outfits would be displayed. Nights were also a great time for us to play with our toys. We brandished sabres & whips of light to dance with most nights, and were supplied ample room to do so. So much space and freedom.
There were so many wonderful moments, sets and people. Some of the most memorable shows were at the Nest such as the incredible energy of Longwalkshortdock. We were swept away by his sonic power as he combined gnarly vocals with with hard, pounding electronica. Pouring his soul into the microphone, Longwalkshortdock brings a raw and ecstatic layer to his bass-heavy compositions that can’t be missed.
We were also swept away by the passionate performance of Kytami and her electric Violin. She truly rocked out and had us mesmerized. Combined with skilled DJs, her melodies carried the crowd through a dirty bass-driven set with such intense energy. What a show.
Oliver completed our weekend as our final set on Sunday. It was such a nice ending to a fantastic weekend. The familiar tracks filled with ample Daft Punk left us warm and satisfied. We wandered back home content.
It was an honour to spend the weekend in this impressive yet humble love nest. The faces and basses were nourishing and memorable. We left knowing full well that we will return for the next celebration, our hearts were won and the love was felt.