Playing through the smoke

While smoke blocked out the sun most days and forced the cancellation of a headlining band, the fifth iteration of the Ponderosa Music Festival rocked Rock Creek this past weekend.

The small festival has called the Rock Creek Fairgrounds home since 2013, throwing a party for hundreds of people every year since, save for 2015 when a nearby wildfire forced a last-minute cancellation.

This year saw We Are The City, who are originally from West Kelowna but now call Vancouver home, headline Friday night, followed by Montreal's Blue Hawaii who played late into the evening.

For those who managed to wipe the sleep out of their eyes Saturday morning, a unique acoustic set was held amongst the Ponderosa Pines before music began on the main stages, featuring members of Brasstronaut, Little Destroyer and Elk the Moose.

The intimate show was hosted by Sofar Sounds, an organization that's hosted similar small shows in more than 400 cities around the world.

Saturday continued with a full day of music, including Kelowna-natives Yukon Blonde, followed by a performance-of-the-weekend candidate by Little Destroyer. Canadian hip-hop veteran k-os headlined the night, followed by Vancouver-based DJ duo The Funk Hunters closing out the evening.

While Suuns, hailing from Montreal, was scheduled to headline Sunday night, heavy smoke caused delays with the band's flight, and they were forced to cancel their set.

Jesse Roper from Victoria, who was also delayed due to smoke, moved into the headlining spot with an electrifying performance that was heavy on the guitar solos and charm.

The future of the festival still remains in limbo, after festival organizers Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi  told attendees a few weeks prior to the event they'd had serious issues selling enough tickets this year to make it financially sustainable. 

Many artists throughout the weekend thanked the pair for putting on the unique, grassroots festival throughout the years, and urged the crowd to continue to support local live music. 

It's unclear at this time if the festival will return in 2019.

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