Dawson City Music Festival 2001!

What a cool music festival. It's located way up in Dawson City, Yukon, in the far northwest corner of Canada. If you can find Whitehorse on the map (it's the provincial capital of the Yukon), well you'll find Dawson to be about an eight hour drive directly north from there -- so far north in fact that you will get 24-hours of sunlight for a couple of weeks in the summer. How cool is that?

Dawson City was once a city of more than 40,000 people, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the Goldrush was in full swing. Now, there are only 1,200 or so people who inhabit this little town. What you're left with are very friendly people, beautifully restored colonial-style buildings and a perfect location for a small, intimate music festival such as this.

I took lots of pictures, almost all of which are here for your entertainment, along with a short description of each one. Check out the music festival's official website if you're considering going. These pics are actually not just of the festival, there are also some of Whitehorse and Dawson in general as it was the very first time that I had made it so far north, and I wanted to remember much of what I saw.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I don't care at all if you copy use my pictures for whatever suits your fancy: print one out, tack it to your wall, masturbate, whatever. :) The copyright notice is pretty standard. If you want the ORIGINALS (most of which are either 1024x768 or 2048x1536) just email me and I'd be happy to send you any and all that you want (no copyright notice either).

the pictures

Click on any of the pictures below to get a larger view.

The Midnight Sun coffee house, purveyors of truly great coffee. You can even order it online as they have a very good website.
Downtown in Whitehorse, from across the street on the main drag.
Typical street in Whitehorse, minus all the tourists flavours like me as it was [gasp] already early evening.
Ooh, ahh, even Dawson has a thriving local scene with bands, artists, and other cool stuff.
Just a neat old house.
Mr. Pink lives here, undoubtedly wearing a delicious velvet robe.
A typical lazy side-street in Whitehorse.
This is my next house, want to move in with me? It's a slight step up from a van down by the river. Note the large pile of garbage and crap out front. I find it beautiful and delightfully efficient. Keeps away the Jonseses too.
The *GREAT* Hyde on Jeckell hostel where I stayed, picture taken from the back alley.
The Hyde on Jeckell hostel from the front. Don't be deceived by its plain exterior...
Inside the hostel in the main room. Very friendly owners, clean and well-designed, and there's even a book exchange where you can "take a book, leave a book."
My room in the lower level. It's very bright and clean, highly recommended!
Just dipping my feet in the cold-but-clear Yukon river and thinking about life....
Trying to catch a view of the rapids...
This stick is standing out of the water for some unknown reason and it just shook and shook and shook with such ferocity yet it did not get unplanted. It was quite a sight, I so did wonder how it got there.
View from inside the van with my new friends, Martin, Martine, and Jean-Pierre from Quebec on the long way up to Dawson. What a great and memorable drive, we had all smoked pot and I was feeling quite loopy at the time. Oh yeah.
A view from the lookout tower, about 1 or 2 hours into our drive. There had been a big forest fire the previous year.
Another view from the tower, this time of the Yukon river. Large steamboats used to travel upstream during the Goldrush, going up to Dawson.
This is the only picture I have of them. People come and go, but some make a lasting impression on you in ways they could never have imagined. This picture was taken about 2 or 3 hours into the drive.
A view from the lookout point. The purple flower are, in fact, a weed that grows after a forest fire.
Morning #1 without showering or fresh water. Some bands were playing the night before but it was too dark to take pics.
My first music picture from inside the old theatre, one of several buildings used for the music.
The Rheostatics played in the outdoor Gazebo.
'nuddah pic of them.
One of the main streets on the edge of Dawson, near the Yukon river.
Typical street view. Here's a hotel.
The amazing, old-style theatre from outside... check out the next picture too...
Not the best picture (didn't want to use a flash) but the interior was stunning! It's not just a replica, it really was a classic old-style theatre with three levels.
Main stage in the theatre.
2:30am in Dawson. Yes that's right, 2:30am (or so). It's ~24 hours of daylight in June and part of July!
The small artisan section of the festival.
Another pic of the trade area. Neat sarongs and beads.
Inside the majestic Catholic church, which was also used for afternoon and early-evening shows.
Close-up of the Be Good Tanyas inside the church.
Just an old hotel.
The stunning museum that has been very nicely re-done.
Just some dude's house. There is a pro-marijuana poster on the door but it didn't show up.
The artisan trade area from afar.
The main stage. This was an afternoon drum workshop.
Check out the cool djembe drums. All three people in front were great drummers, I wish I had been on-stage with my djembe drum too!
See if you can find any tiny, gold flakes in the sand. They are everywhere, hence the whole reason for the great Goldrush.
Just an old piece of gold-mining machinery laying in the weeds.
Another major street in Dawson. All the buildings here are old. In the early 1900s there were 40,000+ people here, now there are 1200.
Tourist info centre.
A "fake" wall, obviously the result of too much effort spent rebuilding everything. Through the door you see that there is just backyard, instead of an inside. :-)
Great picture from inside the main tent. See, it's a small, intimate, cozy, amazing event.
This is, essentially, the entire size of the festival, festival yard and the main tent. I came thousands of miles just for this. Don't let size deceive you -- it was so worth it!
A fairly horrible self-portrait, taken while I was spent six hours trying to hitchhike home (to no avail). Really, I only took the picture as I was trying to shave without a mirror and I have a digital camera that shows you the pic right away.
Close-up of my shave job. Really, that's the only reason I took this. Not too bad, it could have been worse.
An example of the type of modern tourist boats that bring people up the river from Whitehorse (about 700km directly south).
Inside the "common room" at the one and only hostel, across the river.
Wood pile at the local hostel.
Long-term stay at the hostel. :-)
One of the common areas outside.
Drying area for your clothes, plus lockers. Nice.
View of Dawson City from across the river at the hostel I stayed at. Great view.
Just one of the buidings at the hostel.
Just another building at the hostel. Someone really cares about this place.

And that's it. What is not accurately reflected in these pictures is the enormously friendly and diverse group of people that I met along the way. Taking pictures of people is hard, sometimes, because the best moments can never be captured with a snapshot. I met more open, free-spirited people who were interesting and genuinely sincere in this little town than I might meet in Calgary in a whole year. If you ever get the chance to check out this festival, especially if you live far away, you should really consider doing so and jump whatever little hurdles you need to just to get yourself there. The people, the music, the town, the experience are all valid reaons and then some. I hope you enjoyed my little photo page. k

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