The Yukon is running short on music festivals this summer.
Atlin has taken a hiatus this year and the Alsek Music Festival in Haines Junction hasn’t been running for two years now.
Luckily, a new musical jamboree has popped up to fill the void in your summer calendar – The Frog Mountain Music Festival.
The aptly named festival will take place at the foot of Frog Mountain, at the Circle D Ranch, at Mile 940 along the Alaska Highway.
Barbara Drury is one of the owners of the ranch and one of the organizers of the new festival.
“A bunch of friends were sitting around out at the ranch one Sunday afternoon and we were just throwing ideas around and chatting and stuff,” said Drury.
Brooke McLean was one of those friends.
“All of a sudden she says, ‘You know, this would be a great place for a music festival,’” said Drury.
“I’m always up for a challenge so I said, ‘Hey, that’s a great idea why don’t we go for it?’”
All of a sudden ideas began to explode around the table like firecrackers with everyone offering to pitch in to help.
McLean volunteered to book the bands.
The festival will showcase Yukon talent, but be different from what’s on offer during the average Whitehorse weekend, McLean explained.
Many local groups are generally busy touring Outside.
Itinerant musicians like Gordie Tentrees, Kim Beggs and Brandon Isaak and the Whitehorse Blues All-Stars will all be coming to Frog Mountain.
“All of these big Yukon acts don’t really play here regularly,” said McLean.
“So it’s going to be really cool to have them all together on the same day.”
One of the big local acts that’s hard to come across in Whitehorse is McLean’s own band, The McLean Girls.
Brooke and her sisters Erica and Hayley specialize in Rock, Blues and Country covers and write their own pop country songs.
They’ve had a lot of success lately.
The girls recently played a large show in Vancouver for the Face the World Foundation, sharing the stage with the likes of Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.
The sisters have been playing together all their lives, but have only been playing professionally for about a year now.
Surprisingly, the sister’s get along well, with very little sibling squabbling.
“My sisters and I grew up on a sailboat,” McLean explained.
“Our parents took us sailing along the coast of Mexico and the US when we were little. So we have a really well built-in conflict resolution program.”
However, this program isn’t fool proof and there have been a few arguments.
“It’s been an interesting experience over the last year to see how all this stuff works together,” she said.
“When we’re on stage we have so much fun and that really makes it worth it.”
Brooke is the oldest sister but it’s the youngest McLean, Hayley, who steals the show.
Hayley won a competition a few weeks ago from a country radio station in Vancouver and won $50,000 worth of prizes.
She has a Fender guitar sponsorship, will be playing at the Country Music Awards and will be opening for Travis Tritt.
“She’s the most talented for sure,” said McLean.
Also playing at Frog Mountain are Johnny Pogue and the Colleens and Dave Haddock and Nicole Edwards.
There will also be comedians and a belly dancer.
“It’s going to be never-ending, non-stop fun times,” said McLean.
The ranch has partnered with Frostbite, which is going to be running the beer garden.
Yukon-raised foods and meats will also be on offer.
The Drurys raise beef and elk and will be providing chili, smokies and burgers.
And a vegetarian or vegan chili will be offered as well.
It remains to be seen whether or not Frog Mountain will become an annual event.
“We’re just going to play it by ear, whether we have another one or not,” said Drury.
“People are excited about it and if all goes well we probably would.”
The Frog Mountain Music Festival takes place on July 24 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tickets are $30 a piece and camping is $10 per person.
For more info, check out their Facebook site.
And if you can’t make it to Frog Mountain, The McLean Girls will also be playing a show at Coasters the night before the festival.
Contact Chris Oke at