Five Must-See Acts at Vancouver's Music Waste Festival 2024

Apollo Ghosts, Devours and Future Star will appear at the beloved DIY festival, running June 6 to 9

Photo: Jennifer Hyc

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished May 20, 2024

This year marks the 30th edition of Music Waste, an iconic underground festival that has helped define the Vancouver indie music scene for decades. The festival has never had big-name headliners or corporate support, but it's entrenched itself in the local community by consistently presenting a stacked lineup of DIY heroes.

Music Waste presents a who's-who of local faves — as well as the chance to discover your next favourite local band. The best way to enjoy Music Waste is to buy a wristband and hit as many venues as you can, but for those looking for a primer, here are Exclaim!'s picks for the festival's five must-sees.

Apollo Ghosts
If you know, you know. For more than a decade and a half — minus a breakup of a few years in the middle — jangle punk combo Apollo Ghosts have become heroes of the local indie rock scene. In recent years, they've toured a little more and brought their giddy, life-affirming show around the world, including a Japanese trip in support of the newly released Amethyst — but their roots in Vancouver still run as deep as ever.

"Over the hill and out of control / Vancouver isn't boring I'm just getting old" goes the very first line of Devours' 2023 album, Homecoming Queen. Despite the self-deprecation, Jeff Cancade certainly isn't over the hill, since his forthright electropop laments about love, longing and queerness have made Devours buzzier than ever.

Future Star
For reasons I can't properly articulate, there's something so incredibly Vancouver about Future Star, whose catchy keyboard ditties remind me of being in my 20s and seeing the likes of Chris-A-Riffic and Kellarissa at underground venues around the city. Her twee pop sensitivity is a perfect fit for Mint Records, with whom she recently signed.

la lune
These New Faves alumni are pure '90s, bringing a polished take on grunge and shoegaze sounds. Their recent EP disparity is full of looming alt-rock ballads in the mould of "Where Is My Mind?" that have been slowed to a sombre crawl and doused in distortion and reverb. Tinnitus is no joke — bring earplugs!

Amanda Sum
Singer-songwriter Amanda Sum brings old-school sounds with a New Age Attitude, à la the title of her 2022 album, as she combines jazz balladry and R&B melodicism in her searching songs. She sings on "Party Party Party Party," "I don't wanna go but I still wanna be invited" — but trust me, you're going to want to leave the house for this.

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