Punk-pop trailblazer Bif Naked, roots-soul singer-songwriter Frazey Ford, and reunited protogrungers Slow have been announced as the headliners for this year’s Khatsahlano Street Party.
The all-day arts and music celebration, which has attracted upwards of 160,000 people in past years, takes place July 7 on West 4th Avenue. In addition to live music and art installations, street vendors, entertainers, and food trucks will be set up on West 4th from Burrard to MacDonald. On offer will be everything from yoga classes to cooking demonstrations, as well as a dedicated kids' area.
Right from its inception seven years ago, music has been one of the big draws at Khats, with mainstage headliners having included Hannah Georgas, Zolas, and a reunited Poppy Family backed by members of Black Mountain.
This year sees Naked—a former Straight cover star—holding down the main TD Burrard Stage. A highly respected alt-rock pioneer, author, motivational speaker, and all-round nice person, Naked came up through the punk rock ranks with agitators like Gorilla Gorilla and Chrome Dog. After reinventing herself as a solo artist, she scored a string of hits, including “Daddy’s Getting Married” and “I Love Myself Today”.
Ford appeared on the cover of the Straight as a member of the much-loved and much-missed Americana trio Be Good Tanyas. Like Naked, she’s also gone on to fashion a successful solo career, with her full-lengths Obadiah and Indian Ocean praised for their fusion of soft-focus folk, classic country, and vintage Stax-soul.
Slow—seen on the cover of the Straight last fall—burned out spectacularly after one epic EP (Against the Glass) in the ’80s, and then staged a highly successful (and entirely surprising) reunion in 2017. The band’s “Have Not Been the Same” remains arguably the greatest song to ever come out of Vancouver.
This year's musical lineup has focused on gender parity. In the Khats' news release, curation team member Justice McLellan from Zulu Records stated: “We’re conscious of the important discussion regarding gender imbalance at festivals, but what it really comes down to during the curation process is that there’s a wealth of talented female, male and non-binary artists in Vancouver.”
On the undercard for Khats 2018 are dark-wave up-and-comers Actors, alt-country vet Leeroy Stagger, star-in-the-making singer-songwriter Sam Tudor, and harmony-heavy duo Harlequin Gold.
Restaurants, shops, and pubs will be open for business during Khats, with Mill Street Brewing running five beer gardens between Burrard and MacDonald. As always, admission to the street festival is free.
For full information on this year’s Khatsahlano Street Party, go to khatsahlano.com