By Brennan Anderson
Midsummer is multi-genre festival that pulls from urban and rural musical cultures from around the region and Canada. While each band is chosen because of their stellar live and recorded music, many attendees may not recognize the names of our headliners and may be unsure of where to spend their time while at our three-day, five stage festival. This guide is meant to point you in the right direction based on your own tastes and what we have on offer. Our schedule is available on our website, Facebook and in our programs around town.
Like Roots, Traditional, and Folk?
Petunia and the Vipers, from Vancouver have been hailed as the band that has saved country music, and likened to Hank Williams, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash. They put on an energetic, yodel-centric, all original, thumping live show that is unique and fascinating.
Maz, from Montreal, plays traditional Quebeqious music with fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass and mic’d foot stomping as well as synthesizers and vocals. They explore the outer edges of their musical traditions and have toured internationally.
Phonosonics, from Victoria, are a seven-piece roots/reggae band that find deep grooves and imbue the sonic equivalent of sitting in the sunshine on a beach with a smile on your face.
The Colin Maskel Quartet, from Smithers, play classic jazz in an expansive, original way that feels and looks right.
Regionals to look out for include: Joanne Archer, Interstellar Jays, The Racket, Athabasca Barnburner, Homespun Heartache, Backroads Home, Adam Winn, The Valley Youth Fiddlers and more.
Like Rock and Roll?
Mahogany Frog, from Winnipeg is a one-of-a-kind juggernaut of full-bodied complexity in progressive rock music. Nominated for a Juno and well-respected in college and community radio station circles, this instrumental rock band is cerebral and immediately interesting.
Studio 720, from Prince George, seem to develop a cult following wherever they play, thanks in no small part to their engaging live show and robust sound.
Mythical Linx, from Telkwa, are the kings of local jamming that are equal parts groove and presence and never put on a show that didn’t leave you saying, “well, that was awesome.”
Regionals to look out for include: The Revelators, the Infirmary, Theresa Michelle Moore, and more.
Like Electronic/ DJ/Hip Hop?
Shad, from London, Ontario, is a Juno Award winning artist who is one of Canada’s favourite rappers. This guy cannot be missed.
Pick a Piper, from Toronto, combines intricate melodies with polyrhythmic percussion, all strung together with euphoria and groove.
Coy Haste, from Toronto, returns to the fest after burning down the house four years ago. He will be playing a two-hour set after attendees input that one-hour was not enough. Get your dancing sneakers on.
Regionals to look out for include DJ A-Bomb, and Deathanol.
L CON, from Toronto via Quick, B.C., has garnered high acclaim for her electro-acoustic stylings that feature a flexible vocal range that would impress Feist, and certainly impresses us.
Ora Cogan, from Victoria creates such devastatingly beautiful music you wanna cry. This is passion bottled in a three piece band with something to say.
Iskwé, from Winnipeg, speaks truth to power with a cross cultural aesthetic that soars vocally and hits on trip-hop. Live visuals on a projector will also be featured.
Locals to look out for include Sarah Cheevers, Elysium, Poison Girl, Whiskey Rose, 6 feet over and more.
Bobs and Lolo, from Vancouver, are back after being named Canada’s favourite children’s entertainer.
Tiny Island, from Vancouver offer a jazz education in an immersive, experiential way that may just end up with your kid’s head in a tuba.
‘Ewk Hiyah Hodzli with guests, is a residency between local Wet’suwet’en drummers and singers and visiting musicians from around Canada. This will be a momentous occasion on Friday evening that everyone needs to see.