The 13th edition of Blackout Fest is just around the corner! For those who don't know, what exactly is happening on Oct. 18 & 19, 2019?
Yes, Oct 18 & 19 in Brantford Ontario, Blackout Fest is going down. Direct Hit, The Anti-Queens, The Penske File and many more on Friday, Oct 18. Seaway, Like Pacific, Keep Flying, Harbour, Calling All Captains, Boys Of Fall, Romancer and many more on Saturday, Oct 19.
Talk about the humble beginnings of Blackout, and what inspired you to pursue and build a music festival?
We started off as a one-day festival narrowing in more on metalcore/hardcore/punk rock. We have to shift with what's more popular at the time, but we’ve always had a punk rock foundation. We’ve hosted artists such as Hawthorne Heights, Counterparts, Texas In July, illScarlett, Abandon All Ships and many more. We looked up to other festivals in the area such as SCENE Fest in St Catharines and KOI Fest in Kitchener. We wanted to eventually become a multi-day, multi-venue festival, and that’s what we’ve done.
Threads of Society is a screen print company that sponsors Blackout Fest. Can you talk about your relationship and how you guys teamed up?
Threads of Society started printing merchandise for my band Harbour, and then I was posting around social media about any companies wanting to sponsor the festival, and they showed interest. We’ve been working with them for 2 years now.
Working in the music festival business, you no doubt have come across and own some pretty cool graphic t's. What are some of your favourite band designs/logos?
Maybe I’m biased or maybe this is why they’ve always been my favourite band, but MxPx’s 'Pokinatcha' logo is a perfect example of great artist branding. It seems like it's just punk rock bands who have those iconic logos where when you look at it, you know exactly who it is.
What sub-cultures or lifestyles inspired and influenced you in your youth?
Like a lot of other late 20 year olds, I definitely went through the ‘emo’ phase in high school. Tight clothing and a whole lot of Taking Back Sunday. As I grew up, I got more into punk rock and hardcore.
You've got a ton of bands on the bill this year! Which ones are you most excited to check out?
I’m very excited to see Letdown, The Anti-Queens, Seaway, Eternal Boy and Keep Flying. I believe I’m most excited to see Summer Wars from North Carolina.
And finally, what are the most important elements needed to make Blackout Fest a success?
The fans. We constantly see festivals just like ours come and go, and we hate to see it. Festivals like this are incredibly important to the music scene and need everybody’s support to keep them rolling strong.