Article by HK Abell, High! Canada
It’s nearly the end of summer, which means it’s festival time in Canada. From coast to coast, millions of people will be getting their ill of ribs, peach pie, or if you’re in the Maritimes, maybe it’s lobster that you’re overindulging on. There will be music – so much music – and dancing, drinking and celebration. We may not all have the same connection to the earth that we once had when we all lived in the country and depended on the harvest for our livelihood, but festivals still have their roots in that tradition: a celebration of the harvest.
Now there’s a new harvest, and for five days in lovely Lake Cowichan, British Columbia at the end of August thousands of people will be celebrating the great marijuana harvest of 2017 at the second annual Legends Valley Music Festival.
The second part of the weekend was expected to be the Bio Cup Canada Expo and competition. Bio Cup Canada is an organization that brings together cannabis connoisseurs and activists from all around the world to exchange knowledge about the use, cultivation and production of cannabis, and to share the many varied experiences on the legalization of cannabis that is taking place.
This year something big and unexpected happened when High Times reached out to Bio Cup and expressed interest in collaborating with them to create the largest cannabis festival in Canadian history. High Times has taken over the show and is turning it into a High Times Cannabis Cup event. The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s leading marijuana trade show, celebrating the world of ganja through competitions, instructional seminars, expositions, celebrity appearances, concerts and product showcases. Going strong for nearly three decades, High Times Cannabis Cups are the most established and trusted in the marijuana industry, continually fighting for the political legitimacy of the plant.
Both the Legends Valley Music Festival and the Bio Cup people are very excited about this joint partnership, as the sponsorship and prestige of High Times elevates the festival to a world class event. Essentially it is like Olympic judges coming to your national track and field competition. For growers and producers looking to enter the competition, the Bio Cup rules and standards remain the same, but the winners will be able to claim the coveted title of High Times Cannabis Cup champion, and be recognized as one of the best growers worldwide.
Awards will be given for a variety of categories, both for lowers as well as extracts, edibles and topicals. There will be High Times judges, celebrity judges, as well as People’s Choice Awards, which means that you, too, could be a judge. (visit www.biocup.ca to learn more)
What can I expect at this year’s festival?
Well, what would you expect if this were Rib Fest? There will be vendors from all over, including growers, chefs, glass blowers and other artisans selling their wares, as well as vaping clinics, dab rig expositions, and topical massage spas. So much more than just a trade show with pot, Cannabis Cups are a place to learn from the pros, pick up new tips, and make new connections as you network with some of the biggest names in the industry.
If you are thinking of camping, but don’t like the idea of lining up for a Port-a-potty for three or four days? Well, then, you’re in luck! The beautiful Laketown Ranch is not only Canada’s best new outdoor concert venue, but has fully landscaped camping sites, complete with permanent washroom facilities, including hot showers. So don’t worry, this isn’t Burning Man . Yeah, but will I be allowed to smoke?
Yes. Yes, you will, but I totally understand your concern. First off, this is a 19+ event, and traditionally, Cannabis Cup events have been BYOB – bring your own bud. You can bring your own stash, whether that be lower, concentrate or budder, and you can bring your own pipe or bong. Or, you can browse the vendors just as you would at any other festival, and pick up some new strains, glassware, papers, and just about any cannabis related paraphernalia you need. There were some concerns at last year’s festival due to the RCMP presence – people were nervous. It was the first year and nobody really knew what to do. There were stories of people being searched and having their medicine confiscated, but the organizers had nothing to do with that. But several RCMP officers have stated that they were very pleased at how things went, and that there was little need for corrective action.
There are still rules, and one of them is that there is a designated smoking area, for cigarettes or cannabis. Like Samuel L. Jackson tells John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, it’s not like you can just walk down the street smoking a joint. The re a re designated smoking areas where they want you to smoke, and that’s not just the policy of the organizers – that’s provincial law. The festival is a workplace for anyone working a booth, and just as you can’t light up at the office, you can’t light up in any workplace. So be respectful of others, and gather with friends in the smoking area when you want to enjoy a social smoke.
What about the music? Is there going to be anyone I like?
I don’t know – do you like to jump around? Because House of Pain is going to be there. All three original members will be performing their trademark drunken, bar brawlin’, beer swindlin’ music, including one of Hip Hop history’s most infectious and easily identifiable songs, Jump Around. After a successful solo career for Everlast, the futuristic hip hop stylings of the XSupermodels for Dannyboy and DJ Lethal’s stint as DJ for Limp Bizkit, the boys are back together performing as House of Pain, and are also working on a new project with some very cool collaborators.
If you like your hip hop old school and mixed with metal, nobody is more old school metal-rap fusion than the original gansta himself, Ice-T and his band Body Count, who will also be one of the headliners at the festival.Body Count was infamous for their controversial hit Cop Killer, which launched their careers, even if it brought excessive amounts of negative attention. Body Count continue to write politically charged music, saying things that need to be heard, even if they are difficult to hear. They are activists, prophets and poets. And, they fucking rock.
But if you’re looking for something less angry and more light-hearted, check out Magic! The Canadian born, LA based quartet’s #1 hit debut single Rude – a bouncy, reggae-pop tune – took the world by surprise in 2014, selling more than 10 million copies, and being viewed nearly a billion times on VEVO. Their Top 10 debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic, introduced the world to Magic!’s breezy sound — a catchy fusion of reggae, pop, and R&B. Their new album, Primary Colours, dropped in July, and you can hear more of their reggae-tinged pop music at the festival. But the real gem for lovers of Canadian pop rock has to be the Juno Award winning Sloan, the much-beloved Maritimes quartet, whose eleven albums have made them one of the greatest bands in Canadian music. Their album Twice Removed is considered by some to be the greatest Canadian album ever released (though some argue that Joni Mitchell’s Blue or Neil Young’s Harvest hold that honour). Sloan has been playing festivals all over Canada for the last few years, bringing their quirky brand of power-pop to long-time fans and new listeners alike.
In addition to these headliners, there will be many other bands from near and far, like Delhi 2 Dublin, Five Alarm Funk, Daniel Wesley, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Delinquent Habits, The Forgotten Rebels, Funkdoobiest, Mat The Alien, Kytami, Bend Sinister, Dayglo Abortions, The Gaff, Illvis Freshly, Caleb Hart And The Royal Youths, Powerclown, Antipolitic, Cocaine Moustache, The Getaway Sticks, Ganjo Bassman, Dances With Whiskey, Tomorrow’s Midnight, Taryn Laronge & The Revolvers, Everhawk, and more. There are always surprise arrivals and secret celebrity appearances as well, so be sure to keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground.
The organizers expect that there will be between 25- 30,000 people attending the festival this year, invading Cowichan Valley and turning it into an idyllic cannabis culture village, bringing together people from all over the world for a common love. With world class growers’ booths to visit, hundreds of strains to sample, great food, great music, and great friends, the Legends Valley Music Festival and newly branded High Times Cannabis Cup promises to be a monumental event that people will be talking about all year until next time