The Yukon’s annual electronic Paradise Music Festival is back and is set to take off July 27–29 at Kettley’s Canyon, at Marsh Lake. The Paradise Electronic Music Festival was born 13 years ago after festival founder, organizer and local DJ, Kevin Jack (who goes by the stage name of DJKJ), decided it was time to create a space where Yukon artists in the local electronic music scene could showcase their talent.
“Paradise was created from one of my best friends, Stevie Wonder,” Jack shared. The two DJ’ed alongside each other for years and played numerous shows together in local venues. “Stevie was about to move to Vancouver and we threw him a wicked goodbye party at Kettley’s Canyon, and from that I saw the real potential to do something more and it just grew from there,” Jack explained.
Jack was born and raised in the Yukon and started getting into the music scene about 18 years ago. He has played gigs from Victoria, to Haines, all the way to rooftop clubs in Mexico and, of course, continues to perform regularly at local venues, such as Antoinette’s; and the Miner’s Daughter, here in Whitehorse.
“I was always that kid that would show up with a ghetto blaster and casket tapes, playing old hip hop music, like Guns N’ Roses,” Jack shared. He explained that his group of friends, growing up, really influenced him to get into music, and from there he taught himself how to play the guitar and eventually got into mixing music.
Jack has also been part of two bands throughout his music career. One was a punk and grunge cover band called Crumbs, where they would play silly gigs at the Lions Pool and house parties. Jack has also worked at Unitech Sound & Lighting for 17 years. Unitech has contributed and helped develop the technical end of Jack’s music, sound and performance.
“Only within the last three years has the Paradise festival been taken from the underground scene into more of the public eye.”
Jack realized there was something truly extraordinary about the Yukon and its northern spectacle and decided he wanted to take it to the next level. Paradise now brings in big-name headliners from across Canada and, this year, international artists, such as headliner Lumo (from Australia), will even be travelling up to the Yukon to perform their sets.
The Paradise Music Festival has a unique forest setting, complete with a log stage, a black-sand dance floor, visual art pieces and dazzling lighting. It is known for being a creative, collective and organic venue, which hosts artists on the shores of the beautiful Yukon River, only 38 kilometres south of Whitehorse!
The festival itself was founded to showcase Yukon talent in the electronic music scene but has grown exponentially within the past couple of years. It is also about building an inclusive place where everyone is accepted and celebrated. Jack has been DJing and producing music for 18 years now, and has also been a highlight performer at the event each year.
“Being a DJ is a full-time job; it is a hobby that I absolutely love and am so grateful for where I am at with it,” Jack said.
The Paradise Music Festival is a not-for-profit organization that is fueled by an amazing team of specialists and volunteers. This year, the festival aims to create more of a daytime atmosphere. The festival will be offering daytime yoga workshops with Breath of Life yoga studio. Local art vendors will also be set up around the location, along with Lulu’s delicious food truck. The festival will also host a horseshoe tournament, along with life-size games of Jenga and Twister. A concession will also be running on location throughout the weekend.
The Paradise Electronic Music Festival is an age-19-plus event and tickets are on sale and available for the 2018 festival at Triple J’s Music, Tattoos & Piercing, Dean’s Music, and the Yukon, North of Ordinary Experience Centre. People can also Facebook message the official page and arrange for tickets to be hand-delivered to their door!
Camping is available all weekend on the festival grounds, and camping spots are included in the festival pass for the weekend. The festival will also have full-service food vendors on-site and a shuttle service available for festival attendees.
For more information and festival prices, visit the Paradise Electronic Music Festival Facebook page. The Festival is happening at Kettley’s Canyon at Marsh Lake. It’s a 30-minute drive south of Whitehorse at kilometer 1388.1 on the Alaska Highway.