Published Nov 13, 2009What with Sled Island, Ghost Throats and Lethbridge's recent Rocktober festival, Alberta is shaping up as quite the province when it comes to independent music festivals. Aaron Levin, a promoter in Edmonton and the brains behind the Weird Canada blog, has decided to keep the momentum going with Wyrd Fest, an experimental music event taking place in Edmonton on Saturday (November 14).
In an interview with Exclaim!, Levin explains that the origins of the fest came quite naturally. "I was booking a show for Shearing Pinx and AHNA when Tyler Harland from the Wicked Awesomes! approached me about doing a Myelin Sheaths, Moby Dicks and Ex-Boyfriends show on the same date," he says. "With that kind of calibre [of artists] coming into Edmonton, I thought it would be a good idea to test just how 'big' I could make a musical event with the kind of fringe music typical to Weird Canada."
After deciding on a budget for the event, Levin was able to book 14 acts for the festival, including Edmonton-expat Gobble Gobble, who Levin is flying out from San Francisco, and post-punks Peace, who are being flown in from Vancouver. Despite these and the myriad costs that come with an event like this, Levin was adamant about keeping prices low, with pre-sale tickets at $10 and day-of tickets set at $15.
"Rather than jacking the ticket price and hoping for a medium number of people, I wanted to test my ability to reach new audiences and [go] literally wholesale," Levin says. "We're not going to walk away with a lot of money, but I think everyone is going to walk away happy, and I will walk away stressed out and poor."
If Levin's predictions are correct, it sounds as if it will be a pretty intense weekend, as he explains, "Attendees can expect a physical manifestation of the Weird Canada website, a multi-genre audible explosion, a culmination of wavelengths reverberating on the fringes of our modern soundscape, a bunch of drunk teenagers getting buck [wild] to glitchy electro, involuntary crowd surfing, sweat, sex, and rock'n'roll."
The full line-up for Wyrd Fest includes Shearing Pinx, Gobble Gobble, Peace, AHNA, Myelin Sheaths, Moby Dicks, the Famines, Friendo, Grown-Ups, Ex-Boyfriends, Feral Children, Outdoor Miners, the Wicked Awesomes!, Krang, JAZZ and Test Patterns.
For more information on the event, you can click here.