The booming sounds of electronic music and energetic cheers filled the air near Terrace, as ValhallaFest, an electronic music festival inspired by Norse mythology, celebrated its fifth year from June 23 to 25.
The festival, which welcomed a record-setting crowd of approximately 1,000 people, featured 42 music acts across three stages. Though its core focus remains on electronic music, ValhallaFest also had an acoustic stage.
“The whole idea about Valhalla is that it’s meant to be a place where you can go and relax and live out your best life,” said Erinn McPherson, one of the festival’s organizers, in a mid-June interview with The Terrace Standard. “We’re always in a daily struggle so it’s nice to just be able to be free and enjoy ourselves.”
In addition to the music, the festival was vibrant with self-organized workshops, activities, and performances, all aimed at fostering a sense of community and contributing to the overall ambiance of the festival.
With organizers’ family roots tracing back to Scandinavia, ValhallaFest’s artistic theme draws heavily from Norse mythology.
Visual art played a key role in the festival, with various installations peppered throughout the venue. Festival-goers could find Norse runes carved into tree stumps, hammocks constructed from old fishing nets, a towering sunflower, a colossal battle axe, an outsized chair and 17 normal-sized mannequins hidden within the woodland backdrop.
Even the names of the festival’s campsites and stages, such as Leif’s Beach, Freyja’s Garden and Lofn’s Guild, were steeped in the Norse mythology that has become the hallmark of the event.
Notably, ValhallaFest’s founders have taken inspiration from Burning Man, the massive arts festival held in Nevada’s desert.
According to McPherson, ValhallaFest was initiated as a way to provide northwest B.C. with its own version of the famous gathering.
Among the 42 acts that took to the stage over the three-day festival were K+Lab, Pineo & Leob, Draxx, Jodie B and many more.
As the festival continues to grow, plans are in motion to build on-site washrooms and improve wheelchair accessibility, to further expand its capacity and appeal.
However, these infrastructure developments will be a key determinant in future expansions.
For now, though, as the echoes of the music fade, ValhallaFest 2023 leaves behind a lively legacy of community, art and unforgettable performances.
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.