PENTICTON - Andrea Vischler and Kelsey Johns sit in what could be considered the living room of their campsite, a rug spread out, pillows propped up and chairs and stools for resting on. This is not their first rodeo—the girls clearly know how to attend a festival in style and comfort.
They drove from their hometown of Calgary, Alta. on Thursday to be greeted in Penticton with an hour long lineup to get into the Boonstock campsite. Both are working a merchandise booth—jobs they found on kijiji. They knew someone who got them a deal on tickets, so when it all balances out, they are essentially attending the festival for free.
But they are able to enjoy some music while they’re here even though Vischler said “this is the worst venue I’ve ever been to. It’s so dusty.”
The girls’ feet are almost black from kicked up dirt, and they have brown “tan lines” on their arms and backs from walking around the dusty grounds. But they are enjoying themselves and taking in all there is to see, such as art work, painters and all the “different creatures out here,” Vischler said.
By creatures, she means the people who mainly come out at night when the dancing really begins—girls dressed in tutus and furry boots, guys with masks, body paint or some other type of costume. While they may look like creatures to others, they’re at Boonstock for the music and good times just like Vischler and Johns.
“Camping is awesome when you have great neighbours,” said one girl who came to Boonstock by herself from Vancouver.
She and her neighbours created a communal area where they could sit and drink beer and hang out. She gathered together six of them, all from different places, including Calgary, Camrose and Vernon, and none of whom knew each other when they got there.
They said it’s been a blast so far, especially since they took advantage of the neighbourly atmosphere in the campsite and made some new friends.
It would be nice to have music going all day, like at Shambhala in Salmo, B.C. but it’s just the festival’s first year here, one said.
“By the third year they’ll have it all mapped out,” said the Vancouverite, who declined to give her name.
Most people are spending the day at the beach or out on the water at Skaha Lake.
“Even though it’s a trek, it’s better than sitting here dying in the dirt,” she said.
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