The past couple of years haven't exactly brought bushels of good news on the multi-day festival front for Vancouver music fans. Last year the Squamish Valley Music Festival folded, followed by recent word that the Pemberton Music Festival was being shut down earlier this month.
On the positive side of things, the Straight is happy to report that Vancouver can look forward to a new music festival this fall, with some heavy-hitting acts spread out across multiple venues during a four-day run from September 14 to 17. The event will be known as the Westward Music Festival, and it's being presented by MRG Concerts, which runs the Vogue and Biltmore as well as seven other venues across the country.
MRG describes Westward as a festival to celebrate Vancouver and its "world-class music scene", noting that the 15 live-music events feature a genre-spanning roster, and that all shows take place within a 2.5km radius.
Among the acts headed to town are Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, who first rose to prominence as an Odd Future associate, and whose 2015 debut studio album, Summertime '06 was hailed as an instant masterpiece. Staples will be releasing his follow-up, Big Fish Theory, this June.
The Westward Music Festival will also feature Canadian electro-mashup kings A Tribe Called Red, blues-gospel chanteuse Charlotte Day Wilson, and Beyoncé's favourite busking band Too Many Zooz. Also appearing, at venues that include Vogue Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Fox Cabaret, Biltmore Cabaret, and Red Truck Brewery's outdoor stage, will be past Georgia Straight cover stars Dear Rouge and Hannah Georgas, Toronto full-bore punk assault squad PUP.
Continuing down the bill we find everything from L.A. posthardcore bruisers Touché Amore to San Francisco MC and slam-poet Watsky.
In a press release, MRG Concerts president and founder Matt Gibbons said: "MRG is very excited to bring Westward Music Festival to downtown Vancouver this September. As with the Vogue Theatre and The Biltmore Cabaret, our goal is to continue to grow with the already incredible Vancouver music scene. With Westward Fest's wide-range of acts, I am personally looking forward to attendees curating their own weekend schedules, catching favourite acts and discovering new ones along the way."More