Khatsahlano! Arts + Music Festival gets set to make a scene

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      Virtually every band of note in Vancouver will descend on Kits on Saturday (July 13) for this year’s Khatsahlano! Arts + Music Festival. Headliners like the Pack a.d., Brasstronaut, Gold & Youth, and No Sinner are precisely who you’d expect at the all-day event, which drew over 80,000 people last year for a day of car-free partying on West 4th Avenue. But with festival (and Zulu Records) cofounder Grant McDonagh booking this year’s talent in partnership with the Arrival Agency—formerly known as the Waldorf Productions creative team—Khatsahlano! is looking like what you get once you let the scene-makers run riot with your community celebration (a good thing, if we’re not being entirely clear).

      The team has booked a full 50 bands across 10 different outdoor stages, meaning something for everyone, from the chamber pop of E.S.L. and Wintermitts, to Evy Jane’s postmodern R & B, to the fuzz-drenched dreamo of Sunshine. On the harder edge of things, there’s Oi!-spiked pub rock from the Vicious Cycles, demented post-everything-core from Needs and Cowards, and the heaviest three-piece psych attack since Captain Beyond from La Chinga.

      Christopher Smith, Portage & Main, and Twin River will all provide something a little more traditional, meanwhile, leaving Rococode, James Younger, and the Gay Nineties to present an impressive glimpse of the retro-inspired pop coming out of Vancouver these days—plus another yet-to-be-determined top 20 artists from this year’s Peak Performance Project to be added to the bill.

      “It’s jam-packed, but we’ve still stuck to quality over quantity,” Arrival Agency’s Kasha Marciniak told the Straight, adding that she was excited to bring the city’s “strong, up-and-coming electronic scene” into the mix. “We’ve got a full electronic dance music stage this year—last year there wasn’t anything like that—so we’ve got longwalkshortdock and the Cyclist headlining that stage.” Adding to that are Killing Time and Chapel Sound. “They’re awesome,” Marciniak said of the latter. “They’re a collective of young electronic producers who are doing amazing stuff. I’m really excited to have them on there. The dance-music scene in Vancouver is still quite underground, but it’s growing quickly so I wanted to make sure that was featured.”

      In short, if you were visiting from another planet, you’d be getting a perfect cross-section of music in this city circa 2013. “That’s exactly it,” she said. “It’s a little bit of everything, and it’s exciting that it’s growing every year.”

      Tapping the legendary Burnaby-born graphic artist Bob Masse to design the poster for Khatsahlano! 2013 is another nice touch. It connects the festival to Kitsilano’s fabled ’60s heyday while also putting the spotlight on one of the auxiliary art exhibitions organized for the event, a showcase of local artists called This Happened Here. For the full lineup and more information, go to the Khatslano website.


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      May 15, 2013 at 9:38pm

      The fact The Japandroids are not making an appearance at the same time as The Pack A.D. only reinforces by belief they are one of the same band.

      Alan Layton

      May 15, 2013 at 11:11pm

      I'm looking forward to the festival and had a great time there last year. If the weather is decent I expect it to be even more popular this year. Where else do you get to listen to good, live music for free?

      Papa Zit

      May 16, 2013 at 2:52pm

      "Where else do you get to listen to good, live music for free?"

      Uh, the Jazz Fest? To paraphrase Louis Armstrong, there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. Vancouver is blessed with more than one free music event in the summer.