Questions, rumours, anticipation
Everyone's been asking the same questions since the rumours started flying about a new venue in downtown Kelowna. Where is it going to be? When is it going to open? Will it actually be any good or is it all just hype?
We were lucky enough to be invited to their soft launch and have attended close to two dozen cafe sets there over the past two weeks. So let's get into it....!
Does it live up to the hype?
Architecturally the building is astonishing. While plain and non-descript on the outside, the moment we walked into the lobby we felt a real sense of excitement and anticipation welling up inside. Could this be that magical live music venue that local artists
and music fans have dreamed about for so long?
Passing through the doors that seperate the lobby from the actual performance space we actually felt ourselves leaning forward in an attempt to get a glimpse before we had made it to a place where we could take in the whole stage that covers the entire back
wall, save aisles on the very edges of the room to allow access to employee and artist areas.
Okay, it looks great, but how does it sound?
The AV booth is home to some of the very best and latest sound and video gear, including a gorgeous mixing console, a multi-screen setup for controling the 4 cameras situated around the room, and all the tools for aiming them and
switching between views to project onto the many screens within the room.
Not stopping at just buying some impressive gear, they seem to have hired some very talented technicians to build an AV team around. Experienced and possessing exceptional skills and expertise, they also love music and are
excited about the live music experiences they'll be able to create for Kelowna music fans. While the room can benefit from some sound treatement, when this team dials in the volume for the number of people in the room
we have been pleasantly reminded of just how good some of Kelowna's local singers and songwriters are. The word "pristine" comes to mind when thinking about the sound.
Soft Launch Performers
Who have we seen there so far? How about Andrew Judah, Michael Averill, or Aaron Loewen. Or Jim and Kim Rhindress. New to Kelowna singer/songwriter Zayda. N. Sherman, Apollo Agua, Conroy Lee Ross have performed. Joshua Smith has
visited and so has Bex. Dan Tait has been there and had Aidan Mayes join him on stage for some songs. Jam band trio Party Texture has performed as well.
Jodie B has made several appearances, mostly as a solo artist but also with her band Manteasah. Taylor Van Zant has offered up some songs, and Red Deer singer/songwriter Ryan Langlois played a very entertaining set. Shalisa has
played as has Common Fires.
We were able to chat with the Revelry owners and their commitment to live music, and in particular original live music, is very real. With a long history of hosting a great many house concerts as well as a decades long career in the hospitality
industry, they are thrilled to have opened the doors for a soft launch and welcome Kelowna music fans to pop in, check it out, and see how very different it is from any other live music space in town.
The staff that we have encountered have been very professional, polite, and personable. Sporting welcoming smiles as you come in through the door, they offer equally engaging 'thank you"s and "see you again"s as you leave. Still,
these are just words and pictures. Revelry must be experienced rather than just heard about.
In our view, Revelry has the potential to be the most significant mid-size music Kelowna music venue in decades. It has already resulted in local singer/songwriters getting substantially more gigs and the opportunity to hone their performance skills instead of
being relegated to background music status. The value of that alone simply cannot be overstated.
Some photos from the soft launch
The stage and it's setting
Utilizing orchard fruit crates of different sizes and colours, a mix of woods on the stage surface and the surrounding areas, and a palette of grays and blacks help make this venue a place where the audience attention will be drawn right to the musicians on stage.
Afternoon show on Monday, September 25, 2023
Jodie B at Revelry
Kelowna looping artist, multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter Jodie B testing the room out.
Cafe Set on Saturday, September 30, 2023
Party Texture at Revelry
Local jam band Party Texture played an evening set that featured drums, keys, and lap and electric guitars. The room handled it very nicely.
Evening Set on Thursday, October 10, 2023