You can thank 2017s major windstorm for being at least partially responsible for creating Woodstoke, a celebration of local music and the opening of the Riverside Forest Trail.
BC Interior Forestry Museum Director Glenn Westrup said when the museum’s board of directors first decided to build the Riverside Forest Walk there were no preconceived ideas apart from a trail that would go through the forest.
“Then we had the big storm in September 2017 which went straight over the top of the dam wall, sheered down got underneath the power lines that are next to the forest walk and that’s how it got in there and just went right through the middle of the forest like a big explosion,”said Westrup.
Within an hour the storm had completely taken out the middle of the forest. The devastation, however, turned into a positive opportunity as the museum was able to use its contacts within the forestry industry to have the area cleared and turned into a landing site (a forestry term for the area logs are taken to before being hauled away). Westrup said when he and members of the museum’s board looked at the location afterwards they decided it would be a perfect site for some type of community development.
“At that stage we knew we were going to replant and we’ve replanted 2,240 trees since April down there,” said Westrup.
The actual landing area can’t be used at the moment (there are still rocks and boulders that need to be moved). Once it’s cleared and leveled out the site would be available for community events. Westrup said there are even plans to have toilets located nearby and if grant applications are successful is hoping the landing site will be available for community events by early next summer.
“The museum isn’t in the business of running major events, but I thought Woodstoke would be a nice little opening for the forest and be a template for other people to have events there that are of a similar standard,” he said. “We’re trying to get really nice vibe going with quality acts and recycling and people taking their waste away, dispose of it in a sustainable way.”
Woodstoke includes multiple stages, with different music performed at each site. The Highway Stage will be located in the parking lot for the Riverside Forest Walk. As you continue along the trail you’ll come to a gentle, shaded glade where performances will include folk, blues and roots music. At the far end of the trail a sort of “DJ jungle” will include performances by some of Revelstoke’s most popular DJs. You’ll also find food trucks and possibly a bar (the museum was still waiting on approval at the time of publication), although Westrup said the focus is on having a family-friendly event.
The event includes performances by local groups Partial To Pie, Maritime Kitchen Party, Huw’s Who, DJ Dexaville, Catnado & The Subaneers, DJ Westside, Fierce Art Project, Stacie Kathleen, DJ Yannimal and more.
“We’re trying to focus on homegrown talent because we get to see lots of bands during July and August from all over the world down at Street Fest,” said Westrup, who connected with a few individuals involved in the local music scene including Steve Smith, Shannon Sternloff and Randy Jones, to help with entertainment for the event.
“The really nice thing is all the bands, they want to be involved, because what we’re trying to create here is an environment for future use of the site.”
Westrup said the idea is to open up the Forestry Museum to more use by the community.
“That’s the direction I was given when I took this job four years ago. A lot of people have been to the forestry museum, so now we’re trying to get them to the forest. There’s still a lot of work to do down there, but the more friends we make, the more contacts we make, the more people say ‘I can do this, Wouldn’t this be a nice idea?’ It’s really nice to add that altogether,” said Westrup.
If, by some odd chance, you haven’t yet visited the BC Interior Forestry Museum it’s well worth a visit. You can check out the recent addition of a logger sport saw and ax from New Zealand, or if you’re lucky enough catch a pop-up demonstration put on by the museum’s staff.
Woodstoke takes place Saturday, September 7 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the BC Interior Forestry Museum’s Riverside Forest Walk. Early bird tickets are $10 available at the museum or Everything Revelstoke. The event is free for youths 16 and under. A shuttle will be available to take people from downtown to the event (call the museum for more details, a location had not been set at the time of publication). The BC Interior Forestry Museum is located on Highway 23 North, beside the entrance to the Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre.
As Woodstoke is in its first year, the organizers have been getting lots of questions. They provided this list of answers to FAQs:
- Woodstoke is a new family-friendly, multi-stage celebration of the forests.
- Woodstoke is happening from 3 p.m. till 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 and is situated at the Riverside Forest Walk 3 km North on Highway 23 North.
- Quick drop offs at the entrance are ok, however parking is at the B.C. Interior Forestry Museum and then a short walk down the Highlead trail to the forest.
- The free shuttle bus will leave from Grizzly Plaza every 25 minutes from 2:15 p.m. with the last bus returning at 8 p.m.
- Accessible permit parking is available beyond the shuttle drop of zone. Bring a cushion it will soften your log chair.
- Leave your coolers at home. Woodstoke is licensed with a beer and wine garden and cold drinks are available for purchase.
- Entrance and beer tickets are cash only. Some caterers take credit.
- Smoking is allowed in our two designated areas. Please don’t smoke on the trails and take your butts home.
- A condition of our event permit is that no dogs apart from service dogs should attend. Please leave Fido at home.
- Beware of cyclists travelling to and from Woodstoke on Highway 23 North.
- If you want to access the beer garden bring two pieces of ID to get your wristband.
- Along the river edge is a steep embankment with fast flowing water below. Watch your children.
- If you need assistance, ask any volunteer wearing a red Woodstoke T-shirt.
- Please leave the forest as you found it. Woodstoke is a family friendly event. Keep it nice.