Following is part two of a series on Vive Music, a local show promotion and band management concern that is jointly run by Phil Greer and Rich Taylor.
Plenty of other cities have hosted multi-day festivals, but Saskatoon is finally getting its own care of Vive Music. And – excuse the editorial rant – it’s about damn time.
From March 31 to April 2, Saskatoon will play host to Vivefest3, a multi-venue festival, featuring headliners such as Chad VanGaalen, Tim Hecker and Braids.
Halifax has the Pop Explosion festival, Calgary has Sled Island and even Austin’s insane SXSW comes to mind. Even the infamous Junos, which hit Saskatoon in 2007, bring back memories of a time when the entire city was genuinely excited about music and fans raced back and forth between venues.
As Vive co-founder Phil Greer reports, he and his partner Rich Taylor have taken their inspiration for their upcoming Vivefest from these sources.
“Rich and I enjoy several big North American festivals every year, such as SXSW (I’m there right now), NXNE, Sled Island, Juno Fest and more,” says Greer. “We are starting to figure out how they work. At these festivals we connect with artists, labels and agents and this helps to improve our bookings at home on a day-to-day basis, but it also helps a lot for booking Vivefest.”
But while many of these festivals feature plenty of big names, Vive is wholly committed to showcase local groups along side their headliners.
“There is a bounty of local musical talent in Saskatchewan, more than enough to fill up an annual festival much larger than Vivefest,” says Greer. “This festival is meant to showcase our local talent.”
“Saskatchewan is very fortunate to have many big festivals already – such as Jazz Fest, Regina Folk Fest, Fringe, Ness Creek – but Vive believes that we need one more festival that reaches out to audiences who are into independent rock music, experimental audio, off-beat country & folk, indie film & visual art,” continues Greer. “We also want to build this festival for the kids. We aim to keep the majority of Vivefest shows all ages so that the music can be accessible to all.”
But while the Festival has included plenty of up-and-coming local groups, such as Zachary Lucky, the Sea Hags, and Dreaming of Electric Sheep, Saskatoon music fans can also expect some fairly big names to rolling in.
“In order to draw people into Vivefest3 and into local music, we have some ‘big names’ on the festival bill,” says Greer. “Chad VanGaalen, for instance, will draw people into Vivefest and the Vive project, in general, and as audiences get sucked in, they will be exposed to some great music that’s being created right in their own backyard. Furthermore, the Sask Arts Board grant that Vive received this year for the Festival allows us to really buy up into another level. Without their support and the support of our many sponsors this kind of festival would not be possible.”