COG

COG 2014: Calvin & Co. Turn Up The Heat

 

Center-of-Gravity-2014_Kelowna-BC_Purple-Nurple_Kelowna-Frozen-Yogurt

 

The seventh annual festival was forced off the August long weekend.

The talent lineup announcement was delayed by more than a month.

Ticket sales were less than stellar, failing to sell-out in advance for the first time in four years.

Not even Mother Nature was cooperating, with a couple of rainy days leading up to the event.

The odds were certainly stacked against the 2014 edition of Center of Gravity. But by the time Montreal-based Adventure Club closed the show on Sunday night, all was forgiven and forgotten, and the promoters had delivered arguably their best production to date.

From much-improved sound quality and lighting displays on the music end to a bigger wakeboarding pool on the sports side — not to mention hometown champions in women’s beach volleyball — COG raised the bar yet again this year.

There was also more diversity in terms of performers, as chart-topping EDM artists like Calvin Harris shared the stage with award-winning rapper J. Cole plus indie rockers Tegan and Sara, among 35 total acts. In years past, EDM (electronic dance music) was the dominant genre — Tiesto, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Knife Party, Dada Life and Wolfgang Gartner have played COG, to name just a half-dozen — but Kelowna’s city council pushed for a culture change and the results seemed to appeal to the masses.

Crowds turned out in droves from the SunFM main stage to the Dirt Zone for freestyle motocross/mountain biking — and everywhere in between.

The clouds lifted early Friday afternoon and temperatures steadily climbed throughout the weekend, providing plenty of fun in the sun.

It also made for some nice photos, with this collection being the best of the bunch from the latest (and greatest) COG:

Calvin Harris

 

Calvin Harris 14

Calvin Harris 2

Calvin Harris 11

Calvin Harris 9

Calvin Harris 22

Adventure Club

 

Adventure Club 9

Adventure Club 3

Adventure Club 14

Adventure Club 24

Adventure Club 37

Morgan Page

 

Morgan Page 27

Morgan Page 26

Morgan Page 20

Morgan Page 13

Morgan Page 4

Freestyle Motocross

 

Motocross 10

Motocross 22 Motocross 7

Motocross 18

Motocross 26

Wakeboarding

 

Mike Ennen 6 Nick Dorsey 2

Mike Ennen 4

Erik Schroeder

Kevin Henshaw

Women’s Beach Volleyball

 

Tammy Thomas serve Rachelle Thomas kill

Tammy Thomas bump

Tammy Thomas hit

Rachelle Thomas block 2

And that’s a wrap — until next year!

Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, B.C. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.

COG 2013: Fun in the (occasional) Sun

Photo courtesy Twitter
Kaskade plays to the crowd during his headlining set on Friday night at Center of Gravity. By all accounts from those in attendance, the Las Vegas-based DJ “killed it” in Kelowna and set the stage for those to follow throughout the weekend festival.

Another memorable Center of Gravity festival has come and gone over the August long weekend in Kelowna.

This year’s event, the sixth annual under the COG banner, delivered arguably the best collection of music and sports entertainment to date despite less than ideal weather conditions at times. Mother Nature held off on the rain for the most part over the three days, and constant cloud cover did little to dampen the spirits among thousands of concert-goers.

Tiesto, a world-renowned DJ from the Netherlands, closed the show with a powerful and captivating performance Sunday night that had the capacity crowd in a frenzy at City Park. Tiesto’s act followed stellar sets by fellow headliners, Kaskade on Friday and Cazzette on Saturday. Also showcasing their wide-ranging talents on the main stage were the likes of Wolfgang Gartner, Dada Life, Tommy Lee (with DJ Aero and SOFI), Lights and several more.

For the sports enthusiasts, there was a little something for everyone. The Dirt Zone was extra popular this year, with organizers combining freestyle motocross with mountain biking for the first time in history. It was well received by fans who couldn’t get enough of the daring two-wheeled tricksters.

Offering a cooler — or at least wetter — experience was the Water Zone, where some of the planet’s best wakeboarders and wakeskaters busted out equally impressive maneuvers. In another new twist this year, the riders were pulled by an innovative 2.0 cable system rather than by boat, which made their runs quicker in succession with next to no wait between competitors.

There was also skateboarding on display in the Urban Zone, plus 4-on-4 basketball in the Hoop Zone and beach volleyball at Hot Sands Beach.

So, literally, something for everyone. Well, except perhaps for those ice hockey fans who were forced to broaden their horizons in the off-season.

For those not fortunate enough to attend this year’s festival, Sarah Offermann and myself were able to capture the following images to hopefully showcase some of the electric atmosphere from all facets. It’s only a small sample of what COG has to offer, and the only way to experience the full realm is to make next year’s event a reality. Until then, enjoy this photographic recap:

From the Main Stage

Tiesto performs under his flashing nameplate during Sunday's finale. The next five shots are also from Tiesto's set.

Tiesto performs under his flashing nameplate during Sunday’s finale. The next five shots are also from Tiesto’s set.

Tiesto

Tiesto 7

Tiesto 12

Tiesto 14

Tiesto 16

The boys in blue — or in this case neon green — look on during Wolfgang Gartner's set on Sunday. There was significant police presence throughout the concert grounds, ensuring everybody stayed safe in the fun environment. The next photo captures a female fan on the shoulders of a male friend in front of a giant screen as Wolfgang Gartner performs.

The boys in blue — or in this case neon green — look on during Wolfgang Gartner’s set on Sunday. There was significant police presence throughout the concert grounds, ensuring everybody stayed safe in the fun environment. The next photo captures a female fan on the shoulders of a male friend in front of a giant screen as Wolfgang Gartner performs.

Wolfgang Gartner 3

Fans flocked to watch Dada Life's show on Friday, which was — as always — aided by several stage props, from their trademark bananas to the giant inflatable sign visible in this photo.

Fans flocked to watch Dada Life’s show on Friday, which was — as always — aided by several stage props, from their trademark bananas to the giant inflatable sign visible in this photo.

From the Dirt Zone

Motocross 13

Two freestyle motocross riders soar high above their landing ramp during Saturday’s competition. The lead rider performs what one onlooker dubbed a “gnarly” trick that produced enough applause to drown out the sound of his engine. The next three photos were also snapped during Saturday’s freestyle motocross action.

Motocross 12Motocross 6Motocross 4

Biking

Equally daring were the mountain bikers who were charged with following up the death-defying motocross display on Saturday. While the motocross riders landed all of their tricks relatively unscathed, some of the mountain bikers weren’t as fortunate, though there were no serious injuries reported as most were able to laugh off their cringe-inducing tumbles. The next seven photos will depict that and more.

Biking 23Biking 7Biking 2Biking 10Biking 11Biking 18

Yes, that is blood — not dirt or ketchup — covering this biker's forearm. Not to worry, he shook it off and was at the top of the drop zone again for his next run. The pain threshold of the biker's was almost as incredible as the tricks they were pulling off, but like they say "practice makes perfect."

Yes, that is blood — not dirt or ketchup — covering this biker’s forearm. Not to worry, he shook it off and was at the top of the drop zone again for his next run. The pain threshold of the bikers was almost as incredible as the tricks they were pulling off, but like they say “practice makes perfect.”

From the Water Zone

Shane Bonifay of the United States busts out a big-air move during Sunday's wakeboarding finals. Bonifay was among the favourites to win the event and didn't disappoint in successfully landing all three of his crowd-pleasing jumps. The next nine shots to conclude this slideshow came from the same competition.

Shane Bonifay of the United States busts out a big-air move during Sunday’s wakeboarding finals. Bonifay was among the favourites to win the event and didn’t disappoint in successfully landing all three of his crowd-pleasing jumps. The next nine shots to conclude this slideshow came from the same competition.

Wakeboard 16Wakeboard 7Wakeboard 5WakeboardWakeboard 14Wakeboard 13Wakeboard 20

If this board looks a little unusual, that's because it is, belonging to a wakeskater rather than a wakeboarder. With no bindings or boots, wakeskating appears much more difficult although this rider made it look relatively easy on most of his weekend passes.

If this board looks a little unusual, that’s because it is, belonging to a wakeskater rather than a wakeboarder. With no bindings or boots, wakeskating appears much more difficult although this rider made it look relatively easy on most of his weekend passes.

Spectators weren't limited to the shores of Hot Sands Beach, as several boats floated nearby the Water Zone to watch the Water Zone action.

Spectators weren’t limited to the shores of Hot Sands Beach, as several boats floated nearby the Water Zone to watch the action.

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