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CFUV at Otalith 2016!

We finished off festival season the best way we know how, we spent a wicked weekend up at Otalith Music Festival in Ucluelet!

Liv Perry, one of CFUV’s finest went up and enjoyed the time and half that Otalith offers and brought back some of the good sounding fun with her!


Otalith Music Festival sells itself as being “the world’s most intimate music festival”, and even though that’s a bold statement in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty darn on point. Having sold only 1500 tickets, and with the grounds on a space not much bigger than a baseball dia- mond, it was hard not to feel a little bit special while shouldering the stage along with a small (but surprisingly raucous) crowd of island locals and Vancouverites.
To get an idea of the general Otalith vibe, at least 80% of Band of Rascals tore up their set while rocking bare feet (though being from Cowichan, this probably isn’t that unusual). For those who haven’t seen them, The Rascals are a local band of babes that play bluesy, rowdy, rock n roll and aren’t afraid of getting into it with the crowd. Literally—the guitarist played an entire song while straddling someone’s shoulders mid-audience. The Shivas, who hail from Portland and played their furthest north West Coast show to date, followed up with their bittersweet brand of hazy, decrepit, surf rock.
The Shivas (The Shivas)
By the time Shakey Graves came on, the mother of all moons was in the sky and the crowd was getting seriously primal. The thing about a festival as small as Otalith, is that when an act like Shakey Graves comes on, the entire audience turns into a mosh pit. Even the man himself wasn’t prepared for the circus of prospective crowd surfers and flying shoes that ensued throughout his set. While guitar strings were broken and the odd person was mildly trampled, he chatted through his hour and a half set, playing equal parts both band-backed and solo.
While Vinyl Ritchie’s four part set on Friday was a bewildering journey through the ages playlist, Mt. Doyle and Dialz killed it on Saturday with a mix of funkadelic bass music and hip-hop that served as the between-set backdrop for the playground of dancers, frisbee throwers, and fami- lies of hula hoopers. San Francisco’s Jesus-haired Sandy’s not only won sharpest dressed of the festival, but were also one of the best surprises of the weekend. While most of their set was composed of serene guitar-lead reverb and melodic digressions, one stellar build up at the end had the unjustly thin crowd swaying and head banging.
Sandys (Sandys)
As expected, People Under the Stairs played one of the most interactive sets of the weekend. Between them and Fidlar, there was a lot of talk about beer on Saturday, but all jokes aside, the duo took a second to commemorate how rad an accomplishment playing Otalith was, even after being together for 20+ years. The iconic team—composed of Christopher Portugal and Michael Turner—took turns on the mic and turntables, and closed out their set while the whole crowd sang along to “San Francisco Knights”.
People Under the Stairs(People Under The Stairs)
The final official act of the weekend came down to L.A garage rock skate punks FIDLAR, who upheld their reputation for rambunctious, charged live shows. Their music drove fans on stage and off stage (via jumping into the crowd), and at one point Brandon Schwartzel played his bass on his head. If you thought you didn’t like crowd surfing, FIDLAR will probably prove you otherwise.
Once the show grounds closed and the crowd dispersed to their respective tents and after par- ties, a few lucky people rang in the morning with one final forest jam sesh. Under a canopy of string lights and trees, Carmanah played an acoustic set in a natural amphitheatre that lasted into the early hours. The private show only ended once a drunk rogue guitarist decided it hijack the peace, but not before the last remaining six packs of Tofino Lager were passed back through the rows of onlookers. Pretty sweet indeed.

Big thanks to Liv for lending her talents to CFUV, also big high-five to the Otalith Music Festival team – you guys are rad!

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