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Ponderosa Paradise: A First-Year Festival Barking Up The Right Tree

Idaho is celebrated for its rich scenery, boundless outdoor recreation and, thanks to a growth in forward-thinking promoters, a blossoming EDM scene. Through small but frequent shows within urban(-ish) centers such as Boise and Idaho Falls, as well as rural events like Konnexion Music Festival that still manage to approach sell-out, Idaho has proven that there is a growing demand for live electronic music.

While it might be discouraging to create a brand new festival near “EDM-active” areas such as Seattle or Portland, The Gem State is a promising and essentially untapped hotbed for electronic music. Besides, there’s an applicable Chinese proverb here: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

The Snake River Canyon promptly became the venue of choice for Ponderosa’s founders. The area is two hours away from any population center that matters and well-endowed with lush greenery, shady pine trees, and a natural amphitheater. While the landscape might have festival-goers convinced they accidentally walked into a National Geographic photo shoot, the soundscape will tell a different story.

They call it the Magic Valley for a reason.

They call it the Magic Valley for a reason.

The lineup is comprised of established underground artists who have been gracing the scene with unique sounds unfamiliar to corporate, LED-heavy main stages. Big Chocolate’s unpredictable BPMs have covered genres ranging from drum & bass to future house, while we expect Vaski to unleash his arsenal of traditional, grimy dub- and bro-step.  Trap fans will get their fix from Apashe, one of the many Kannibalen pacesetters (can you say Snails?), and T-Mass, who caters to more melodic cravings.

Ponderosa's headliners include Apashe, Big Chocolate, Vaski, and T-Mass

Ponderosa’s headliners include Apashe, Big Chocolate, Vaski, and T-Mass

Sebastian Moonjava, Ponderosa Paradise’s Event Coordinator, made a point to harness local talent as well as non-electronic acts. On both Friday and Saturday, indie bands and hip-hop performers will take the stage from 4-7pm, giving festival-goers plenty of manageable headnodding action before the regional DJ’s and headliners make them dance into a state of fatigue. Smoke Siignals of Utah will be hosting an official soundcamp with 20+ regional artists to add an alternative to the single festival stage.

A note on safety: Idaho summers are extremely hot and dry. Though attendees can wade through the Snake River for temporary relief during the day, we advise everyone to stay hydrated, as organ failure caused by hyperthermia is a very serious (and sadly realistic) concern

Curious as to what the weekend might bring? Boise local DJ Auzomatic has just the mix-tape to satiate your Ponderosa pre-gaming needs:

https://soundcloud.com/auzomusic/ponderosa-paradise-mixtape

Limited tickets are still available for $75 (plus $5 in fees) at ponderosa-paradise.com. Camping is included with a general admission ticket.

Will you be attending Ponderosa Paradise? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written By

Resident and lover of Boise, ID. Healthy affinity for musical talent. Unhealthy addiction to espresso. Future bass, turntablism, UK dubstep, 80's synthpop, wobbly house…firm believer that Pretty Lights is a genre…

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