Festival Fever
Funkfest hot despite the cold

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 09/00) - A fall chill settled over the Long Lake site on Sunday even as a dozen bands were tuning their instruments.

And despite the unruly, rebellious elements, Funkfest 2000 reeled on. Festival-goers the world over understand that weather will be weather, que sera, sera, and the music will be hot though the wind blowing off the lake will whisper winter.

"I was expecting snow. I really wouldn't have been surprised," exclaims a cheerful-sounding Lisa Tesar on Monday, adding that what mattered, above all, was that the event was a safe one.

"There were no accidents, no cases of drinking and driving. Everyone had a safe and happy time. That's the main thing. The numbers were not what we thought they were going to be. I think a lot of that had to do with the lovely weather we had on Sunday."

After the laughter dies down, there's a pause.

"But everyone was so cool. Even the glitches with the sound system, and everything else that did sort of go wrong, that was out of our control -- it was dealt with."

Tesar's list of "things that went wrong" include the weather, the sound system and the power.

"I'm hoping to get hold of the Power Corp. this week to see what we can do about getting more power out there.

"We had a lot of special effects we couldn't even use."

Beside that, says Tesar, the only other incident was when someone was stung by a bee, developed an allergic reaction, and had to be run over to the hospital.

For their second annual Funkfest, the organizer and the four other board members attempted a Teenfest on Friday night. Tesar says attendance was poor and the event won't be repeated next year.

Next year? Yes, there will be a next year. Different, though, says Tesar.

"We're doing 10 days next year. This year was like our second trial run. Getting all the glitches. From now on we'll set a permanent date for our festival. June 21 through the July 1 weekend.

"We're going to do two nights of dinner theatre, one night of comedian/hypnotist, one blues night, one rock, and one funk dance. And we'll continue to do dances throughout the winter to pay for this one."

Another new addition to the festival was on-site camping.

"The camping was amazing. I know for sure, camping is definitely in."

Finally, Tesar says the help of about 50 volunteers and several key people is what made the festival possible.

"People that stepped forward to help were just incredible."