Big Joy Festival showcases Vancouver underground music scene
– by Katie Maki
This weekend marks the first Big Joy Music Festival in Vancouver. The festival was founded by Shaunn Watt and JP Doucet in the hopes of boosting the West Coast experimental music scene. They will be presenting four shows over three days, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7. The shows will be hosted at one of three locations: The Remington, Kokopelli, and the Rainbow Connection.
The two Vancouver musicians who launched Big Joy are a part of the experimental scene themselves. Watt and Doucet were previously members of Red Cedar before that Vancouver band broke up in 2012. Watt went on to work as a solo artist, and has released two records. His newest album Foil was released in 2012.
Artists playing Big Joy include Ian William Craig, White Poppy, Diadem, and The Passenger. All the artists showcase different genres, from drone to ambient. The founders’ main goal for the festival is to create another platform for Vancouverites to view the underground music scene.
“There are a lot of people that aren’t into this kind of music,” says Doucet, in an interview with Discorder. “But it’s not because they’ve heard it and decided they didn’t like it. It’s because they haven’t been exposed to it! A lot more people can get into this kind of music than you’d think.”
Album stream – White Poppy, s/t (Not Not Fun Records):
Not only that, but they are missing on some wonderful break-out albums. The debut album from Crystal Dorval, aka White Poppy, has been acclaimed in Vancouver Weekly, Beatroute, and Exclaim!. Oddly enough, this ambient music sensation has only been on the Vancouver scene since 2010.
However, other acts deserve more exposure. Luckily, the Big Joy Music Festival gives a stage for these bands to strut their stuff, and there are over 30 doing so this weekend.
“Big Joy is a listener’s festival,” Watt told Discorder. “It’s not a sexy, hang-out-with-your-buddy-and-talk-over-each-band thing. It’s really valuable that people are there to listen to, and to be involved in, the music.”
Festival passes range from five dollars to ten depending on the day. Twenty dollars will get you a festival pass for all three days.
Big Joy schedule:
Thursday Dec. 5 – Kokopelli 2052 Commercial Drive (doors at 9 p.m.)
Ian William Craig: http://ianwilliamcraig.bandcamp.com/
Nervous Operator: https://soundcloud.com/nervous-operator
Friday Dec. 6 – The Remington 108 E. Hastings (doors at 8 p.m.)
The Passenger: http://the-passenger.bandcamp.com/
N.213’s Group Vision: http://www.number213.bandcamp.com/
Kristen Roos: http://www.kristenroos.com/
Botfly and Holzkopf: https://soundcloud.com/holzkopf666/botfly-holzkopf-duo-sample
The Nausea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCkM2nQlMQ8
Saturday Dec. 7 – The Rainbow Connection – (doors at 12 p.m.)
White Poppy: www.whitepoppy.bandcamp.com
Collapsing Lung: http://youtu.be/qKMouxHBz-U
Andrew Lee: http://andrewylee.com/
Saturday Dec. 7 (finale) – The Remington 108 E. Hastings (doors at 8 p.m.)
Aerosol Constellations: https://soundcloud.com/aerosol-constellations
The Rita: http://bakurita.blogspot.ca/
Cassette Merchant: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NPM1qDDEpL0