DMNW has been all over the map this summer. From Sasquatch to Shambhala and everywhere in between, this season has been one for the books. But summer doesn’t end at the beginning of August, far from it; and after the summer we’ve had there was no better way to wind down than spending a weekend at Atmosphere Gathering!!
The definition of an Island festival, Atmosphere presents attendees with all the ingredients needed to enjoy their weekend in the village of Cumberland. West coast attitudes, good food, picturesque scenery, and an energetic music scene are part of what define Vancouver Island. Mix them all together and you’re left with a place that feels like home, regardless if you’re an Islander or not.
Populated by a mix of families, locals, and BC’s west coast dance community, Atmosphere provided a little something for everyone. Whether it was interactive activities for all ages, showcasing an amazing collection of Vancouver Island’s musical, cultural, and artistic talent, or getting sucked in by the infectious way of island life there was always something to take part in. While our main intention of the weekend was the music, quite often we found ourselves mingling about and getting to know the amazing people of this festival and the surrounding communities.
Atmosphere is one of those places where you get from it what you put in. For some, it’s a retreat from their hectic summer schedules; while for others, it’s their yearly retreat from the quirks of everyday life. But regardless of why people were in attendance, there was a universal sense of love and respect.
Thanks to the combination of responsible attendees and the amazing team of the MOOP Squad, the grounds were always sparkling clean. It barely felt as if 1500 people were in attendance, as there was more than enough room for everyone to flow as they pleased. Close to home, literally zero dust, hardly any lines for bathrooms, food, water, or getting in and out, Atmosphere had the boutique festival feel but with the larger than life production you expect from a bigger event like Rifflandia.
There were plenty of workshops, including multiple Yoga classes, provided those in attendance with a variety of ways to pass the time. If that wasn’t your thing, the village of Cumberland was steps from our tent, and they played the role of host to perfection. Easy going attitudes were as prevalent as the smiles on each and every person we talked to. Seriously, it was almost impossible to find someone who wasn’t smiling from ear-to-ear all weekend.
The main street was just outside our camp, and was lined with everything a hungry, thirsty, or tired festival-goer would need. Camping supplies, liquor stores, bakeries & cafes, and the best damn pizza we’ve had in years courtesy of Rider’s Pizza (seriously look them up if you’re ever in Cumberland). You name it, it was just a quick walk away. And if you were feeling the heat, the beaches of Comox Lake were just 7 minutes outside of town!
For most of us, Atmosphere was a perfect way to wind down after a busy summer. Although there were moments we found ourselves ready to rage out to the music, it simply wasn’t the overall vibe of the weekend. While the tunes were in no short supply, Atmosphere provided dance floors free of pushy crowds, and instead provided a space full of respect and positivity. Daytime workshops & performances leaned more towards the family friendly side of things, while the party got a little rowdier as the sun disappeared over the horizon.