Frog Mountain keeps hopping

After last year's trial run, the Frog Mountain Music Festival is now an official member of the Yukon's summer festival lineup. The addition stretches the summer schedule just one weekend longer.

After last year’s trial run, the Frog Mountain Music Festival is now an official member of the Yukon’s summer festival lineup.

The addition stretches the summer schedule just one weekend longer by sneaking in right after the Dawson City Music Festival.

But organizers aren’t fazed by following the biggest, longest running festival on the list.

“We’re not in competition with Dawson,” said ranch owner Barbara Drury. “There’s a lot of people that can’t get away to Dawson or Atlin.”

And the price and location can’t be beat, added festival music director Brooke McLean.

“It’s only 20 minutes out of town,” she said. “And it’s a reasonable price just for the day, even.”

The idea to put on a festival on the Drury’s elk, beef and hay ranch materialized just three months before last year’s show. And it was McLean who came up with the idea.

“She just said, ‘Gee, Barbara, this would be a great place for a music festival. Why don’t we do one,’” said Drury, chuckling. “And I said, ‘Gosh Brooke, that’s a great idea. Let’s do it.’ That was April of last year and by July we had it all put together and we had our first music festival.

“It was a really good party. It was a really good time and everyone had a lot of fun.”

The variety of ages and “walks of life” was something Drury really appreciated, she said.

This year, the festival is even more kid-friendly, with the stage dedicated to children on Saturday afternoon with music and events.

There’s also a costume contest, which is open to adults too, said McLean.

The festival takes place on the Drury’s Circle D Ranch. It was originally bought as a side project or hobby by the son of the Yukon’s famous Drury – as in “Taylor and Drury.” It wasn’t until the third generation, when Barbara’s husband took over, that it turned into a sustainable ranch.

The name, Frog Mountain, comes from the rocky, grey hill perched on its north side.

“It’s actually called frog-house mountain, according to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation,” said Drury, who is a third-generation Yukoner herself, heralding from the Dawson gold fields. “I know that there’s other names. This mountain was actually fought over. It was warred about, this particular mountain, so they all have names for it.

“We decided to go with Frog Mountain because, well, I have an affinity for frogs. I like frogs.”

“And who doesn’t want to see a bunch of toddlers runnin’ around dressed up like frogs,” said McLean.

Another addition this year will be a “hang-over friendly,” unplugged music line-up on Sunday afternoon.

All of the musicians, ranging from Gordie Tentrees to Soir de Semaine, are local.

The goal is to eventually get acts up from Outside, but it’s not in the budget just yet, said McLean.

But all the local acts will be something you can “shake-your-booty” to, said Drury. The line-up spreads across different genres, but dancability is a key factor, she said.

Even with her quips and giggles, it is obvious Drury is stressed out. It’s understandable, considering she’s about to host 500 people – and cook for them all.

All of the food comes right from the ranch.

Drury will be harvesting the greens and vegetables that morning, she said.

“Talk about your 100-kilometre diet or whatever,” said McLean. “This is like negative kilometre. It’s there. And it’s awesome.

“And full of prana,” she adds.

Prana is like chi, or life energy.

As well as running a ranch and being a well-known, organic cook, Drury also runs an ayurveda healing centre. Ayurveda is the practice of balancing life-energy, said Drury.

On top of all of that, the Drury’s registered the festival as a not-for-profit last December. While it may take some time to commit to sizable donations, they have already made arrangements with the Whitehorse Food Bank Society, said Drury.

So not only will you be dancing, eating good food, helping out a good cause and camping at a beautiful location in the Takhini Valley, but you may also get to balance out your energies too, said the women, laughing.

The second annual Frog Mountain Music Festival will kick off at 11 a.m. this Saturday, at the Circle D Ranch. For directions, the full list of performers and the menu, check out www.fmmf.ca

Tickets are $40 (camping included), while anyone 15 years or younger is free.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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