A 188-FOOT wide circus-style tent

A 188-FOOT wide circus-style tent

The Atmosphere is set for a Gathering in Cumberland

A Tribe Called Red and throat singer Tanya Tagaq among festival headliners

The big top is up, the dance floor is ready, and organizers note this weekend’s Atmosphere Gathering is different than anything ever done in Cumberland.

“(The set-up) has been amazing … it’s thrilling for everyone here,” explained co-producer Vig Schulman, adding one of the main attractions of the festival is the crowd-sourced 188-foot wide, 57-foot tall circus-style tent, capable of holding 1,000 people, in partnership with Project Intent.

“I hate to use the cliché, but the circus is in town.”

Schulman said he and Benjamin Howells — the main organizer behind Project Intent — have been collaborating for years, and have been “talking about tents ever since I met him.”

Beginning Friday and running until Sunday in Cumberland Village Park, Schulman said along with Project Intent, Atmosphere is a collaborative effort with partnerships from Cumberland Village Works, Little Island Productions, The Gourmet Girls (providing local food) Harmonic Arts (serving elixirs and tonics) and others.

“We’ve got exclusive partnerships with other groups that will put its own artistic stamp (on the weekend),” he added.

Organizers are promising to bring a big vision to a small village by creating a festival which features not only bass-heavy music, but a complete display of local food, art, visuals and culture.

Headliners include Chali 2na, Blackalicious, Gaudi, A Tribe Called Red and throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

Schulman said the tone and style of Atmosphere Gathering is different from past summer festivals such as The Big Time Out and The Big Day Up.

“When people show up, they will see that first off, it’s musically very different,” he said.

“The composition of the headliners are significantly electronic music; people like Gaudi who have played on our rosters over the years, they’ve now got the lead.”

He added the space of the festival is different, with a Forest Stage, Elixir Lounge (the event is non-alcoholic and will offer tonics, teas, Italian-style sodas, a herbal tasting bar and more) a Chai Tent and the circus tent.

The event also features a Yarrow Willard Herb Walk, a forest zone and a Cumberland Forest family chill zone, along with yoga, workshops and tea ceremonies.

Schulman added that the tent will serve as a shelter regardless of weather conditions – as a shade from the heat, or respite from the rain.

“There could be a full-on Comox Valley rainstorm and the show will go on. If it’s hot out, it will be shady inside,” he said.

Tickets for Atmosphere Gathering are $140 for the weekend, or $70 and $80 for day passes. They are available at Bop City, the Waverley Hotel or online at www.cumberlandvillageworks.com.

For more information about Project Intent, visit www.projectintent.com.