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My First Time at Odyssey Gathering

By Cassie Weiss


I sit here trying to describe my experience, and for once… the words that usually come so easily to me are gone. Because, this time, something affected me on a level deeper than the words I use to shield me.

I didn't know what to expect while driving down the highway towards Odyssey Gathering Music Festival. I'd been a part of the festival scene for four years, but I'd never stepped foot anywhere other than the Salmo River Ranch.

I had always considered that place my home… the place that changed my life! Never would I have EVER guessed that this new festival in Northern Alberta would show me an experience to prove me wrong. Odyssey Gathering was a bright star… perfectly nestled into the rolling meadows in the enchanting North Saskatchewan River valley. 

Growing up in the countryside, Odyssey was a quaint acreage that soothed my homesickness. I'd seen the photos and footage that had surfaced from last year, but nothing could have prepared me for its openness, its vast skies, and its heartfelt ardor. Though the nights were chilled, I still found myself welcoming the crisp night air and misty mornings with a feeling of enveloping warmth.


Friday night was only a taste -- I met up easily with a group of my closest friends and we set up our camp to a backdrop of gentle pastel colours… the sun setting after the light rain. The scattered puddles on the ground reflected the neon lights from the stages in the distance. 

I could hear it, but most of all I could feel it; the bass… the music vibrating through the ground, through the grass and the trees. The tents scattered across the campground formed a makeshift city last weekend, at Metis Crossing, Alberta. 

It was easy to fall in love with this feeling. It was comforting and challenging to put into words, and as my friends and I ventured away from camp and into the festival, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

No, it wasn't Shambhala, but that was the beauty in it. It was its own little nebula of sound, its own corner of the universe and I felt myself lost in its colours -- the deep, grounded pulsing of the Orbital and light, groovy vibes of the Transmogrifier. Both stages set its own tone contrasting each other harmoniously and hopping between them became a journey in itself.

We were welcomed by blue skies and the smililing sun on Saturday. The light breeze refreshed the day and the warmth, in the people and in the air, made walking around easy. The festival spanned maybe three kilometers, and welcomed the discovery of merchant booths, handcrafted costumes, rope swings, and rushing rivers. The walk back to camp was quick and faces became familiar as I roamed the festival grounds. By the end of the weekend, I felt everyone became my neighbour. 


Now, ask yourself: “Why do I go to festivals?”
What is the first answer that pops into your head? 


I always said the music. The artists I follow mean the world to me, and unfamiliar lineups were always intimidating, but as the sun sank low on Saturday, spreading shades of pink and purple across the darkening sky, I realized just how much I could discover if I took the risk to dive in.

Odyssey Gathering came alive with bundled up fairy creatures, young and old alike. Children in glowing outfits flitted around the stages, and their pure essence sparked light in all who witnessed them. They embodied the magic of the festival; innocence in its most spectacular form. And as they danced between the legs of the adults around them, the sound waves carried their infectious energy through the air. 


Then, everything came back around... back to the music -- to the pulsing that pushed from the speakers, reverberating through the wooden dance floor. 


I discovered two new artists that night, both of which I haven't stopped listening to since I arrived home. High Sobriety captured my heart the way only bass and deep house can, and FRASE’s angelic voice and dynamic act was the perfect pair to the pink and orange sunset. After that, I fell for a new, chilled out sound in the darkness as the artists played their hearts out for an inspired crowd. 

As the stars twinkled above, circling our heads, I realized this is where we were all meant to be. This was our night, our home, and this was how we could find peace in the mundane world surrounding our everyday lives.


It wasn't complicated, and it definitely wasn't stressful. It was the light from the sun that never fully left the horizon, it was the flashing lights synchronized to the sound, it was the gentle calming woosh of the wind as it cooled down the day, and returning home to the city was one of the hardest things to do. 


However, the memories live on! The ones where I laughed until I cried, so blessed to experience a new festival with old friends. Odyssey Gathering 2018 may be over, but the magic isn't gone. It remains in the photos, in the stories, in the people who worked so incredibly hard to show the attendees an amazing time. 


The passion put into the festival was evident, and I still close my eyes and picture myself dancing, twirling through the trees with only one thought on my mind -- that I didn't want to leave, and once I did, I couldn't wait to be back.


Harm Reduction

Health, Safety, and Consent at Odyssey Gathering

While we are all getting excited about this weekend, we'd like to remind everyone of a few very important things to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a good time and stays safe this season.

Please take a minute to read and absorb the following information as it is meant to help you get the most out of your stay.

Our First Aid efforts are in FULL force this season.  Specifically, we have hired Elite Emergency Response Ltd., professional medics who will be set up on site on Friday and Saturday. We also have a Harm Reduction Workshop scheduled so you and your friends have the opportunity to learn how to use the Naloxone antidote, and receive your own kit.

In addition, our Sanctuary will be a safe haven for anyone who needs some snacks, a warm up, a hug, a talk, some condoms, some water, or just to rest for a while. These people will also be roaming the grounds as Vibe Patrol to look out for anyone in need, and to be an extra set of eyes for our paid Security.

We want everyone to feel comfortable enough to go and hang out at the Sanctuary at ANY TIME and make friends with our amazing, knowledgeable, and caring  volunteers who will be maintaining the good vibes there throughout the weekend.

"Essentials" Pack List

  1. Pack clothing for every kind of weather - cold,wet, hot, dry

  2. Sunscreen / Aftercare

  3. Bug Dope

  4. Proper Footwear / Blister Protection  / Rubber Boots

  5. Hearing Protection

  6. Naloxone Kit  - (**very important to store antidote between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and should be kept away from direct sunlight)

  7. Food or cash for food

  8. Water container

  9. Cooler with ice to keep food fresh (ice will be available for purchase on-site)

During the Festival

  1. Stay HYDRATED

  2. Get some sleep

  3. Nutrition  - refuel with sustenance

  4. Proper Footwear

  5. Look out for one another and TELL someone if you see someone in need

  6. If you to choose to use, never use alone; carry a Naloxone kit - We encourage abstinence from drug use

  7. Watch the weather forecast

  8. Dispose of cigarette butts in proper containers


Resources On-Site/ Locations/ Map

Odyssey Gathering 2018 MAP

Odyssey Gathering 2018 MAP

Please take note of the following locations on the MAP:

  1. First Aid (by House)

  2. Muster Point (by Main Gate)

  3. Sanctuary (If there is a Sexual Assault, go here)

  4. Water Source (next to bathrooms)

  5. The INFO BOOTH (not pictured) will be located between First Aid and the House

  6. Two (2) Fire Extinguishers at each stage, 1 in every building including the kitchen and shower shack

  7. Pending there is no fire ban, a bucket of water must remain next to EACH designated fire pit - no personal fires are allowed

Evacuation Protocol  / Muster Point

In the event of an evacuation of the site -  Music will stop and Attendees will be instructed to go to the Muster Point at the Main Gate / Dirt Road at the entrance (or secondary muster point if the front gate area is not safe)

Directions and a Google Map from Metis Crossing to George McDougall - Smoky Lake Healthcare Centre

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 5.02.53 PM.png

Overdose Recognition & Response

In accordance with Canadian law, Odyssey Gathering is a drug-free event. However we realize, regardless of the law, our harm reduction plan and gate policies, and the inherent dangers of illicit drug use, some may still choose to use these substances. With this in mind, we have a proactive approach to harm reduction. 

TELL SOMEONE (Anyone, Crew, Security, First Aid/Medics) if you see:

  • A Wobbly Walker

  • Discoloration in Skin Color

  • Unconscious Person

Or If it is an emergency, CALL for help.


As always, please remember that CONSENT is SEXY and to TELL SOMEONE if anyone ever makes you feel uncomfortable.


We want everyone to have a positive experience at Odyssey Gathering and we hope to achieve this by spreading awareness and growing in preparedness.



Artist: John Glassey

By Cassie Weiss

With just over a week left to prepare for Odyssey Gathering Music Festival, attendees, organizers, and performers alike are feeling the buzz in the air. Although a handful of artists are coming from south of the border, the festival is grateful to the local talent who return every year.

John Glassey, half of the musical genius of Amaurotic, has performed at the festival three years in a row, and to him, there is nothing better than starting off the season with this “cool party.”

“I love seeing the growth here each year,” states the British Columbia based producer. “The festival has come a long way since I first attended. Now that I live in Victoria, it’s sure nice to come and hang with some of my close friends.”

Originally from Toronto/Edmonton, John has been focusing on his passion for producing since 2000, and those who know him know that he holds nothing back when it comes to recording in studio or playing live. Having played the festival in the past with his live band, Senseless Live and the John Glassey Project, this season will be a whole new ball game for him.

“This year is bringing some big, exciting changes for me personally. I will be showcasing a very cool project I am working on with well-known international DJ/producer, J Feud. We go by Amaurotic. These [other] projects are still around and coming back bigger and better in 2019, also with some huge changes, but Amaurotic is a project we are both passionate about. We look forward to getting this festival season going at Odyssey.”

Although John has only been at the forefront of music production for the past 18 years, his love of music started back in Toronto in 1992/93. With parents who both played banjo, guitar, and accordion... music was pushed onto him at a young age.

“Electronic music was shown to me in the early 90’s when I started going to raves in Toronto. I have been hooked ever since. I can remember those times like they were yesterday. The scene was so different then; I have seen so much change over the years in all the cities I’ve lived in and had a chance to play at. It’s amazing watching the culture and sound develop in different cities.”

And just like the scene itself, John is also always changing. With lots going on with all three projects, his momentum isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Amaurotic has a pile of releases coming up with Capital Heaven Records, Mandrinia Records, JF Records, and a full summer of bookings, playing basically every weekend from here on in.

Senseless Live is also working on a new album, slated for a late fall release with a few singles out before, taking a bit of a new direction with the addition of two new singers, Andre Gordon and Jessie Parker. His solo project is also going strong, keeping up with remixing and original productions, and planning new releases with his imprint, JG Records.

“I love working with other artists and watching the creativity happen right before me. It’s important to work with honest people and I find the music flows in a positive direction when you have these elements in a creative process. The music we are all making together is rewarding and it feels good. Just the overall quality, I feel, is most noticeable.”

With so much happening in the near future, John is eager to show all those at Odyssey just what he’s dedicated his life to. He’s also really looking forward to seeing his Wheelhouse Productions mates, and getting to show J Feud “how cool you all are up in Alberta!”

A humble guy with a big passion for music, John is enthusiastic for what’s to come, and he’s looking forward to spending the weekend surrounded by those who share the same passion.

“Life has its challenges, just like an artist has challenges, but you gotta keep going no matter what. Never give up on a dream. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you become your reality. Keep believing in yourself and you will succeed in achieving your goals and dreams. And be kind to people always.”

Learn More

John Glassey

John Glassey
Senseless Live
JG Records



“Angel” Contest Winners

by Cassie Weiss


               With less than a month until Odyssey Gathering 2018, the elves behind the scenes are busy perfecting the small details. Not too busy though, to take a moment to honour the outstanding individuals nominated for the Angel contest held last month where people were asked to nominate someone who has been doing good for their community to give that person a chance to WIN a ticket to the upcoming event.

                Receiving over a dozen submissions, the organizers were blown away by the amount of love and gratitude shown for fellow friends. They’ve made some hard decisions and… THREEAngels have been chosen! Each winner will receive a Full Weekend Pass with special perks to the festival, to be held the first weekend in June.

                “It was so nice to see people being so considerate and appreciative of one another,” said Kelsey Hannah, Editor/Social Media Coordinator for Odyssey Gathering. “We felt rainbows while reading all of the submissions and we decided to choose more than one Angel because these three specific nominations were simply undeniable.”



Presenting, the 3 Angels and their nominations:

Jess Thiessen

                “I nominated Jess because of all the amazing things she has done this year. She teaches children to swim, graduated high school, and got into university for nursing. She is a fully qualified lifeguard, and only a few months ago LITERALLY saved a man’s life by administering CPR for half an hour until the paramedics arrived. The doctors told her the man would have been dead if it wasn’t for her. It shook her a bit, but her training came through. Even when everyone else was in shock, she took over, and she saved this man. She is only 18 years old, and she deserves this magical weekend with us!” 

Keith Armstrong

                “I nominated Keith because he is truly invested in the Edmonton scene, running a label, djing, being a graphic artist for events, and a general ambassador to multiple crews.”

               “This man is one of the most selfless and supportive members of this community. HE IS THE EDMONTON BIFOREST. KEITH IS A F**KING RAINDBOW BRIDGE…connecting the people to the music!”

Bri Baldrey

            “I nominated Bri because no matter what kind of personal challenges or struggles she is dealing with in her own life, she ALWAYS, ALWAYS makes her friends a top priority. Whether it be helping for days and nights before a move, driving across provinces just to be present, staying up all night on the phone when someone is teetering on the brink, staying up late to help with the teardown of an event, or making meals for people in the community who maybe can’t do it for themselves, Bri is always on it.

                She has had enough of her own personal struggles to destroy any person, but she always shows up with a smile to help other people. She truly deserves a chance to feel the love and support of the community shining back at her.”   



               Wishing they could pick everyone who was nominated, the OG crew is confident in the beautiful souls who were chosen. “The way the nominators wrote about their friends was expressed so effortlessly… We know these people must be overflowing with goodness.”

               Very excited for Odyssey Gathering, and the chance to meet these Angels in person, the Odyssey crew knows the fast-approaching weekend will be one to remember. 

               “We want these people at our festival, and are so pleased to be able to spotlight those who go out of their way to do good for others, without any need of recognition. Thanks for all of the good vibes!”



Odyssey Gathering is held near Smokey Lake, AB, just North-East of Edmonton, and will take place

June 1 – 3, 2018.