ChillAx. The Northern Vibe Festival


20150830_134751On what must be the most peaceful and serene place in rural northern, Ontario, 400 (or so) people gathered over three days for the inaugural Northern Vibe Festival, in Ophir,Ontario. After travelling along Hwy 638 through Rydalbank and Leeburn, Poplardale Road leads the way to private property, and the grounds of The Northern Vibe Festival 2015. Saultonline visited the Festival as things were winding down on Sunday afternoon, August 30th. Katrina Holkko, Northern Vibe Festival President, organizer, and gracious hostess, gave saultonline the grand tour of the Festival grounds.

One of the things that was obvious immediately upon entering the Northern Vibe Festival grounds, was how much the attendees of the festival took care to respect and keep the space clean. There was no trash laying about. Zero. There were no broken bits of pandemonium. Just a chill northern vibe, where peace, love and music infused the air. The great outdoors provided the space for two stages, musicians and music lovers, DJ’s, Crank Sound, food & art vendors, tents and trailers, drummers and sojourners who all found their way along the secondary highway and down the rural Poplardale road.

20150830_135206“I can’t say enough about Main Stage manager Adam Hayward” shared Katrina Holkko. “Crank Sound did an amazing job of the sound system. The bands were all so appreciative of the vibe, and the festival guests showed their appreciation right back to the musicians, and DJ’s. We had Jam sessions running all night long at the second stage down by the river (Thessalon R.) hosted by our tremendous Beach stage manager Stephen Mousseau. He did such a great job.”

The Forest Stage (main stage) and the Beach Stage featured over 20 bands, and DJ’s over the three days.

A tranquil clearing in the woods provided a space for people to relax and ‘hang-out’ on several hammocks hung to the tall stand of pine trees.

Walking along the Thessalon River where the second stage was set up looked like a little slice of heaven. Morning Yoga was featured on Saturday and Sunday morning down at the rivers’ edge. “The morning yoga sessions had at least 10 people in each group.” said Katrina “A beautiful space to come and chill out, and watch the sunrise.”


There were lots of folks camping out for the weekend. Festival goers were asked to be bring in potable water for their own use, and leave any glass containers at home.
“We have non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint along pathways to mark the route for guests at night.” shared Katrina.


Art installments, including five huge life-sized body outlines were draped with glow-in-the-dark painted cloth and really stood out for festival goers traversing the pathways at night. Wooden doors and windows, all coated in Glow-in-the Dark paint also marked pathways, as well as lanterns, crystals, orbs and more.


These art installments were created by the Artistic Director of the Festival, Tamarack Zeppa. Mana Goodfellow designed the Festival Poster and Logo. Adam Hayward, Main Stage Director, and Steven Mousseau, Beach Stage Director were kept busy all weekend long. Adam Hayward was still spinning music on Sunday afernoon at the Beach Stage.


There were lots of folks camping out for the weekend. Festival goers were asked to be bring in potable water for their own use, and leave any glass containers at home.


Katrina Holkko, Planetary Pride business partner and Northern Vibe Festival President is already looking forward to next year. “For the inaugural year, I have to say, this has been an amazing and successful festival. My team of volunteers made this Festival a special experience for people. They helped cut grass, make pathways, light up the pathways with orbs and markers, hang crystals from trees. All the people who came out, from the Bands, to the DJ’s, to the festival goers. A big thank you for making this such a great place to be for three days in August.” The Festival ran Friday August 28th to Sunday August 30th, 2015.