The Cold Hard Facts of Winter Festing

Words: Clark Cutler
Photos: Danielle Lindenlaub

Is attending a multi-day outdoor music festival better in the summer or the winter? The winter of course! No need to fight your way through throngs of scantily clad revelers to stake your claim, to pick your spot, in the sea of tents. In the winter there is no need for bulky coolers, or heavy expensive bags of ice to haul in. The refreshing rain, snow, sleet, and slush serves a myriad of uses. The extended hours of darkness the winter brings is a gift that just keeps on giving. The winter festival is also the best way to get the most value for your hard earned money. From accommodations and libations and nourishment to long extended hours of midnight debauchery, winter festivaling is the way to go.


 Setting up camp in a winter festival is the best. No overcrowding, no mobs of merrymakers falling all over themselves, and you, in the hot heat of summer. With the winter festival you will have ample space to set up your campsite. All too often during the summer, tents will be pressed tightly one on top of another. Not so during the winter festival. Why, you may be so far away that you won’t even be able to hear your neighbours chattering. For the true adventurer wintertime raver, why bother with a tent? With all those layers you will have on, simply apply a decent set of rain gear and voila! No need for a tent or an air mattress. You can lay down anywhere and sleep well cushioned and dry. It is no longer necessary to be strategic in picking your campsite in close proximity to the showers or porta-potties. Chances are that on Vancouver Island, in the winter, it will be raining. This makes any place a viable option for a refreshing brisk shower. No need to for porta-potties either; I’m sure the rain will take care of that. All that rain, sleet, snow, and slush serves many purposes.


  Ever had to pack a fully loaded cooler of ice, refreshments, and snacks deep into a festival? Well no more. Now with winter festivaling you can leave your hot dogs and quinoa salad right out on the table. They will be just as fresh and preserved Monday morning as Friday thanks to Mother Natures deep freeze. Remember having to buy $10.00 bags of ice and haul them daily to your site in order to keep your libations cold. Simply place your drinks in the snow pack or river of rain flowing through your campsite and they will be chilled and ready for your consumption whenever your thirst calls. Shaved or fresh snow is also a wonderful wee hours refreshment, perhaps with a little maple syrup, when your midnight dancing feet need a break. At this point I know what your thinking, but have no fear: all the bears are slumbering away in the long darkness of winter. Not the case for the committed winter festival goer though.


Tired of long, drawn out, epic sunsets that don’t bring darkness till 11pm? With the winter festival it’s pitch dark just after lunch and stays that way till brunch the following day. You get twice as much night for your dollar here. The fancy lights and mind bending visuals are no longer reserved strictly for the headline acts. Now the local bar acts get top notch production from the lighting team thanks to winters strict curfew on daylight. The winter ravers are no fools either. They know they can party like it’s midnight for 14 hours straight, with no worries of the pesky sunrise to bring them back to reality. The cold darkness is very supportive towards socially progressive ideas as well. With all those layers and bundles to stay warm there is no telling genders apart. You can bump and grind the night away on the dance floor and leave all your preconceived gender biases alone.


So is the winter festival better than the summer version? Of course it is. Hiking onto the festival grounds, finding a good spot, and setting up camp is much easier. Ensuring proper food safe levels of refrigeration is a breeze. Your wallet will feel full and plump instead of ravished and bare. Finally at no extra expense you get nearly 24hr a day full stage production thru lighting and visuals. You will come out fully showered, well fed (at least not poisoned), with many more hours of top production. You just cannot get that promise during the long, dry hot night of a summers festival.