Published Mar 19, 2013Our nation's capital has developed a reputation for punk shenanigans thanks in no small part to the annual Ottawa Explosion Weekend. This year will be no different, with an excellent batch of bands that span everything from punk and garage to hardcore and jangly indie pop.
The Ottawa Explosion Weekend runs from June 19 to June 23 and will invade venues like Club Saw, Mugshots, Mavericks, Dekcuf and Avant-Garde Bar, among others.
Here's the full list of acts confirmed so far for the fest:
Asile, Astral Gunk, Attention!, Average Times, Big Dick, Black Tower, Boyhood, Chit Chat, the Creeps, Crusades, Dig It Up, Feral Trash, Hassler, Holy Cobras, the Isotopes, the Kidnappers, Kremlin, the Mandates, Mother's Children, the Mouthbreathers, Needles//Pins, Nervosas, New Swears, Noise Hounds, Nude Beach, Pregnancy Scares, Prevenge, Primitive Hearts, the Raging Nathans, Roberta Bondar, Robots Everywhere!, Silver Dapple, Solids, Sonic Avenues, the Soupcans, the Steve Adamyk Band, Strange Attractor, Strait As, Sugar Stems, Teenanger, Thalidomy Kids, Thee Nodes, Tyvek, Ultrathin, Vacation, Valley Boys, the Visitors, Voicemail, White Pages, Wyldlife, Yellowteeth and the Yips
Speaking with Exclaim!, festival organizer (and member of Crusades and Pregnancy Scares) Emmanuel Sayer says the annual showcase has one goal — to party.
"My role at Ottawa Explosion Weekend is to try to put on the most fun and wild party our city will see — once a year," he says. "We do shows in Ottawa throughout the year, but this is the chance to really concentrate the excitement in a very short amount of time and destroy people's minds, bodies and/or souls."
Originally starting Ottawa Explosion as a blog and booking local shows under the Rock 'n' Roll Pizza Party banner, Sayer combined the two into a festival, which also worked as a successor to the Gaga Weekend, a prior annual fest hosted by Ian Manhire of the White Wires.
Years later, the festival has grown into one of the most exciting prospects for fans of DIY punk. The lineups have also expanded.
"We've gotten more out of town bands coming in while still keeping a strong local presence," Sayer says. "It has also changed since we are adding more and more diverse bands to the lineup. It's still generally rooted in punk and its offshoots, but it's starting to spread out."
Without question, the festival wouldn't exist were it not for Ottawa's thriving punk scene.
"This festival stems out of the fact that Ottawa has so many amazing bands and we want to spotlight them as much as possible," Sayer admits. "There is a bunch of creative people here but there isn't any music industry to speak of. There is a lack of venues and touring bands generally skip over Ottawa. There isn't a bunch of bands competing to open for these big touring bands. A lot of shows are mostly local bands playing together and everyone tries to help each other out."
Wristbands for the fest will run you $60. Out-of-town visitors can also get a "sweet deal" to stay at the Ottawa Jail Hostel. More information on the event is available here.