Westward Music Festival Bring Music To The Street

This weekend, September 12 – 15, the 3rd Annual Westward Music Festival brings a stellar line-up of music to downtown Vancouver. Dozens artists from around the world, perform on 11 indoor and outdoor stages, all within close proximity to downtown Vancouver.  Westward Music Festival gets underway Thursday, September 12th with shows at Vogue Theatre, Imperial, Biltmore Cabaret, and Fox Cabaret. 

Some of the world-class acts performing over the weekend include; Toronto’s Owen Pallett, Kelowna’s Yukon Blonde, New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus, The Wonder Years from Philadelphia, Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47, Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit, Japanese performer Joji, and many more. 

On Friday September 13th, the festivities move outside for the Yaletown Street Party Kickoff, the Music BC Beer Garden Stage at Yaletown Park finds performances starting at 4pm.  Saturday September 14th finds all of Mainland Street closed for Festival entertainment from noon until 10pm.  Two more stages join the Beer Garden Stage to add to the entertainment; Street Party Live Stage at Davie & Mainland, and the Street Party Electronic Stage at Nelson & Mainland.  In between the stages, find artisans and other vendors to keep you interested throughout the day. 

The Yaletown Street Party is free for all but theatre, cabaret and club stages require a Westward Festival Wristband which allows entry to all venues for the entire Festival weekend.  Many venues are all-ages but some are 19+, check venues prior to attendance.  Visit westwardfest.com for line-up, schedule and wristband information. 

Howard Jones brings us Life In One Day

Howard Jones – Rickshaw Theatre – June 28, 2019

British singer/songwriter, Howard Jones filled the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver for a night filled with hits. Celebrating 35 years since the release of his debut album, Jones’ setlist varied between simple stripped-down tunes performed with a electric piano, and full-blown dance hits, with the full force of his band, keytar, synthesizers, and a great light show.

The opportunity to see the synth-pop pioneer in a small venue, brought out a wide demographic to fight the heat at the Rickshaw Theatre, and sing along to the 90+minute set. Bringing a generation of memories to the forefront as Jones stripped some songs to the barebones, No One Is To Blame and re-imagining others like Life In One Day 2.0.

On tour to support his latest album, Transform, the singer was joined for one of the new tracks, The One To Love You, by the duo of Christian Burns and BT, who helped produce the album. Closing out the set with the single that started it all, New Song. With the original video playing in the background, it really showed how well Howard Jones’ music and performing has held up over the decades, even if the 80’s new wave style hasn’t aged as well. Capping off the night with an encore of Things Can Only Get Better, left the audience feeling it would take a lot for it to get better than this.

2016 Polaris Music Prize Shortlist Revealed.

Polaris_400x400Last week, the 2016 Polaris Music Prize shortlist was announced. The top 10 artists vying for the title of the best Canadian album of the year are Andy Shauf, Basia Bulat, Black Mountain, Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes, Jessy Lanza, Kaytranada, Pup, U.S. Girls and White Lung.

This year marks the highest number of female/female-fronted acts ever to have made the short list, with seven. For the only the second time in Polaris history the short list does not include any R&B or rap artists however, Kaytranada’s 99.9%  features both rap and R&B artists. While this year’s long list boasted some of the country’s biggest names in the genre, including Drake, and the Weeknd, among others, none of them made it to the top 10.

There are six artists on the 2016 short list that are newcomers; Andy Shauf, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kaytranada, Pup, U.S. Girls, White Lung.  The remaining four are returning short list nominees;  Basia Bulat, Black Mountain, Grimes and Jessy Lanza.

The Polaris Music Prize gala takes place September 19th in Toronto to be hosted by CBC Radio 2 Morning’s Tom Power, and Amanda Parris, of CBC Radio 2’s Marvin’s Room and Exhibitionists on CBC TV. The event will be live streamed on CBCMusic.ca/polarisprize.

The list was adjudicated by 194 journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers across Canada. A smaller group of 11 grand jurors will now be selected to convene on the night of the Polaris gala to vote for the winner. The Polaris Music Prize winner takes home a $50,000 grand prize and the other nine nominees will each receive $3,000.

Visit the polarisprize.ca for more information on the short listed artists and the Music Prize Gala.  While you’re there check out the great new posters created for each of the nominees, like those above by Ally Jaye Reeves for Carly Ray Jepsen and Jonathan Dyck for Andy Shauf.  

Sunwave 2015 kicks off June 4

This Saturday, Sunwave 2016 kicks off with Open Air, the start to a season of great electronic music events.  Throughout the summer, the 3rd Annual Sunwave brings exciting electronic music, cold craft brews and good times for all.  Koerner’s Pub at UBC is the place to be, with one of the largest open air patios in Vancouver, spend your days soaking up the sun and fun.

It all begins this Saturday June 4, with OPEN AIR – featuring Jay Tripwire, MYTE, K.A.S.H, Tienn, Rob Caruk and Jackson.

The rest of the summer’s schedule:

Jun 18 – WAVE II
Tyler Stadius, Jay Zoney, Cato Kane, Chris Drinovz, Mike Mimoni & Kai

Jul 2 – WAVE III
Featuring Max Ulis, K.A.S.H, Jesse Bru, Marc Gerrard, Mi Di, & Sladien M

Jul 16 – WAVE IV
Featuring James Hopkins, Briser Gonzalez, Ryan Wells, Mike Mcsuede, NIMA & Zareh

Aug 6 – WAVE V
Featuring K.A.S.H, Oliver Nickels, Derrick Vnuk, Chris Drinovz, Iain Howe & Breno Mos

Featuring Rennie Foster, K.A.S.H, Nancy Dru, Joel West, Ryan McKinnon & Mike Arnold

Day Passes are on sale now for $10
Season Passes (all 6 shows) are $40

Koerner’s Pub is located at 6371 Crescent Road (UBC)

Check out the 2015 Sunwave teaser

FVDED In The Park 2016 on sale today


FVDED in the Park will take place for the second year at Holland Park in Surrey, on July 2nd & 3rd, 2016. Presented by Blueprint, in partnership with Live Nation Canada, the urban music festival features three stages welcoming over 30 artists from across the globe. This year’s festival a trio of Grammy Award winning artists making up the headlining acts, Jack Ü – the collaboration between Diplo and Skrillex’s – as well as hitmaker Zedd. Find the full line-up on fvdedinthepark.com

The Weeknd headlines FVDED 2015
The Weeknd headlines FVDED 2015

“FVDED is truly the most exciting project our team works on every year,” says Alvaro Prol, Blueprint Co-Founder and Talent Buyer for the festival. “The lineup reflects our tastes as a company – it’s contemporary and approachable, with both established artists and emerging acts that we believe in and love. Last year’s reception blew us away and we appreciate the opportunity to once again bring a festival to the heart of a city.”

Super DJ Pete Tong at FVDED 2015
Super DJ Pete Tong at FVDED 2015

Last year, more than 28,000 fans attended FVDED In The Park, making it the largest outdoor music event in Metro Vancouver. Holland Park makes the festival easily accessible and unique in its urban location. Ample parking for drivers is a short walks on foot or SkyTrain’s King George Station is across the street for those who wish to take advantage of the fully licensed outdoor lounges. FVDED’s all-ages audience can enjoy popular food trucks and shop from local vendors all within the park surroundings. VIP festival passes allow priority entry into the festival, and includes access an exclusive VIP viewing area and separate beer gardens.

“It’s very exciting to unleash the second edition of what was such a unique and special event last year. FVDED IN THE PARK demonstrates that the lines between music genres continue to be blurry and today’s festival fan is open to discovering new artists from all corners our industry. Can’t wait to see everyone in Surrey this July,” says Erik Hoffman, Live Nation Canada Senior Vice-President of Talent.

General Admission Two-Day Festival Passes and 19+ VIP Area Passes are on sale today at 11am via fvdedinthepark.com. General Admission passes will be valid to admit all ages. Details on Single Day Passes will be released at a later date. 

Picks of the Week: December 23, 2015

It’s finally here, Christmas may be the main player this weekend but there’s still plenty of activities for those not celebrating or looking for something to do after the gifts are opened and dinner devoured.

Here’s the Christmas picks of the week;

Funk: Feel the beat when the Funk Hunter entertain the Commodore Ballroom tonight.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks wrap up the Holidays with a Boxing Day game versus Edmonton Oilers and a Monday game hosting Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena

Fest: Blueprint Events’ Contact Festival has grown into a two-day extravaganza of world-class DJs, producers and entertainers at BC Place December 26 and 27th

HipHop: XY Boxing Night features Jane Smoker hosting Playboy with DJ Domtop providing the classic hip hop beats

Folk: Jon and Roy make their annual Holiday visit to Vancouver, taking to the stage at The Imperial on Sunday December 27th

Trolley: Wrap up your Holidays with a tour to see the festival light illuminations around the city and sing some carols along the way on the Karaoke Christmas Lights Tour

Wizard: Gateway Theatre, heads down the Yellow Brick road as The Wizard of Oz runs until January 3rd.

Lights: Cross into the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with thousands of lights illuminating the bridge and park.

Stages: The Arts Club Theatre Holiday season shows are wrapping up soon but there’s still a few days for the whole family to experience a show; A Christmas Story: The Musical (closes December 27), It’s a Wonderful Life (closes December 26) and Peter and The Starcatcher (closes January 10)

Cirque:  Cirque du Soleil Kooza wraps up this Sunday so you just have a few days to take in the thrills under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place,

FlyOver: Follow Santa on his journey from work shop to the sky atFly Over Canada until January 5th

FestofLight_IMG_5622Lights: Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden expands with an extra 5 acres of Holiday sparkle until December 31st.

Clean Bandit wrap West Coast tour

CleanBandit_IMG_7258UK electronic group, Clean Bandit wrapped up their 6 week tour of Western North America last week.  Their penultimate show brought them to the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver for an hour long energy-filled show.  The quartet of Grace Chatto, Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, and Neil Amin-Smith were lead by tour vocalist Elizabeth Troy who belted through their distinct blend of classical and electo-pop, with a dose of dance-hall for good measure.

In spite of just having one full length release, New Eyes, and a few EPs, the mostly university-aged crowd eagerly danced their hearts out and through their hand up for the groups catching tunes. Kicking off with #2 charting Real Love and wrapping up with Grammy-winning Rather Be, the setlist and Commodore was filled with energy.

While Clean Bandit has headed back to Europe for May, they return for a few dates on the East Coast of North America in June, so catch them if you ca