The Keno City Music and Film Festival has broken its two-year hiatus, announcing August 2022 dates and a call for vendors, musicians and other performers.
The festival in the former silver mine boom town overlooking the Peel watershed will be held August 5, 6 and 7. Keno City has a census population of 24 and the festival averages attendance between 200 and 400 people.
Festival director Cud Eastbound said it is a completely volunteer-run enterprise and the break since the last festival in 2019 has been somewhat welcome. Everyone involved is now refreshed and ready to go for this summer.
Owing to the hard work of volunteers, Eastbound said the Keno festival remains completely free. Any money raised from merchandise is paid to the performing artists.
Eastbound said some things have changed in Keno — this will be the first festival since the December 2020 fire that destroyed the historic Keno Hotel — however, the festival stage is still in place and ready to host performers.
The name of the game is variety, Eastbound says. Performers of all kind are welcome, from musicians to spoken word and interpretive dance acts. A film festival component was launched in 2019 and film submissions for this year are also being received.
The musician, vendor and film applications are available at www.keno.lostwarren.com.
Folk, jazz and other easy-listening acts are usually scheduled for the stage during the day. Eastbound said louder bands go on later; they are usually followed by DJ sets and dancing around a bonfire.
He said people have described it as similar to the early days of the Dawson City Music Festival.
There is ample room for camping out and Eastbound said people are free to choose a spot far from the stage if they’re trying to get some sleep while the band is still playing.
Eastbound says the festival’s beautiful setting and communal atmosphere are what really set it apart for him. He said the lack of fences, tickets or gates leaves people feeling very immersed and eager to help with clean up and other tasks.
He said attendees work together to keep each other safe and there will also be volunteers with medical training on site.
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