In 1991 the Ness Creek Music festival was held over two days, had seven bands and only 200 people.
In 1989 and 1990 an ecological fair was held near today's festival site.
This year the Ness Creek Music Festival marked two decades. From July 15 to 18, 3,500 people, scores of volunteers, more than 30 bands and numerous artists and vendors filled the site with the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of celebration.
Nestled in the woods about 20 minutes north of Big River near Nesslin Lake, the festival brings people together from across the prairies.
The site is small but the number of campers and tents is not and every possible space is turned into someone's home for the weekend. People arrive ready to park their cars and walk from venue to venue to experience everything from the live music on the main stage, the drumming circle, yoga, shopping, story sharing, hands on art creation in the children's area and more.
The festival has been growing steadily and this year was the first year all of the tickets were sold out in advance.
A special collective of artists, visual and performance called HistoricNess came together to create a live theatre piece and various works of art that will remain on site. A tent was filled with old promotional materials and photographs documenting the festival's history.
The children's parade is an annual occurrence that was bigger and brighter than ever and a WalkNess Monster parade was held Saturday, inviting everyone to dress in costume and wind through all of the camping fields and areas.
The food court was surrounded by the scent of cuisine from around the world including mouthwatering Thai and African fare. Just to the side of the main stage a Ukrainian style clay oven was set up and every few hours guests were attracted to a growing line-up by the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns.
The range of music was broad and many bands recalled stories of other gigs on the Ness Creek stage over the years. The eco-tent offered ideas for a greener future and the marketplace showed the talent of artists and craftspeople. The crowd ranged in age from babes in arms to seniors and everyone seemed to find a place to belong and to be entertained as the music barely ever faded into the forest.
Go to our photo galleries feature under the community tab for more photos from the festival.