Despite minor glitches, organizers of inaugural Desert Live Music Festival thrilled with response

By on July 9, 2014
Kelowna's Poppa Dawg rocked the crowd with a pleasing set of blues during the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which took place in downtown Osoyoos from June 27 to July 1. (Richard McGuire photo)

Kelowna’s Poppa Dawg rocked the crowd with a pleasing set of blues during the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which took place in downtown Osoyoos from June 27 to July 1. (Richard McGuire photo)

There is room for improvement in some areas, but overall the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival went off without a hitch and attracted an encouraging number of music fans over five days, says the chair of the organizing committee.

Mike Campol said even though there were a few glitches along the way, he is pleased with how the first Desert Live festival went off.

“Perhaps the thing I’m most pleased with is we held a first time, five-day festival with a beer garden and there wasn’t a single incident,” said Campol. “There were a few things we’re going to have to improve on, but overall I thought the festival went very well.”

The organizing committee had three goals while organizing Desert Live and they succeeded in meeting those goals, said Campol.

“We wanted to show that the municipality was behind us and would support a large event like this and the town was great in helping us put this together and town council showed tremendous support through their financial contribution to Desert Live,” he said. “We also wanted to have a well run and well executed event and I think we pulled that off.

“And we wanted to enhance the guest experience for those visiting Osoyoos and based on the number of comments I heard and received, we were very successful in that regard as well. I think we were successful in reaching all three of our goals.”

There were complaints about the quality of the musicians in several of the daytime slots and the organizing committee heard those complaints loud and clear, said Campol.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it would be not to book a band based solely on recorded material they submit to earn a spot in the festival and hopefully have a process in place by next year to ensure all musicians and bands are proven live performers, he said.

“I think we probably relied too much on recorded demos and not enough on seeing everyone we booked perform live,” he said. “We would definitely like to do more research before booking bands next year.

“When you book daytime acts at a first-time festival on a very limited budget, you’re not always going to get quality every single time.”

The vast majority of bands that performed over the weekend were very polished and received terrific response from the crowds, said Campol.

“We only received bad comments about two or three of the bands,” he said. “The night time acts we booked, including all of the headliners, were very well received and I thought they all put on a terrific show.”

The sound system installed in Gyro Park was exceptional, but there were a few noise complaints launched from property owners who live adjacent to the park, he said.

“The parallel I will use is that whenever a new movie is released in a packed theatre, there are going to be a few people who don’t like the movie,” he said. “We did receive a few noise complaints and we tried to accommodate them by adjusting the volume.”

The fact numerous headline acts sent emails thanking him and the committee for putting on an excellent festival was rewarding, said Campol.

The committee will be finalizing financials from the festival over the next couple of weeks, he said.

Based on public response and support. Campol maintains the overall impact from local citizens and visitors was very positive and he’s confident a bigger and better festival will take place next summer.

“It’s our hope we’ll be back next year for sure,” he said. “The committee will be conducting a de-briefing in the next week or so and talk about what worked and what didn’t work and hopefully we’ll start planning for next year.”

At Monday’s meeting of town council, Coun. C. J. Rhodes praised Campol and the organizing committee for doing an amazing job in putting together Desert Live.

Rhodes said he talked to many people throughout the five-day festival and the vast majority were “blown away” by how well organized it was and the quality of the majority of performers.


Osoyoos Times


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