A FESTIVAL FOR VANCOUVER’S EXPERIMENTAL SCENE
It doesn’t matter if your older sibling lent you their copy of Daydream Nation 10 minutes ago or you have almost everything on the Nurse with Wound list — people seem to gravitate to “weird” challenging music. Often growing bored with conventional rock and pop, they look for something different coming from their speakers. Shaunn Watt and J.P Doucet have organized almost 30 groups for their inaugural three-day festival, Big Joy, catering to people in search of such new sounds.
“There is so much great work coming out of Vancouver that sits on the fringes,” Watt comments on their reasoning behind starting a festival. “We understand that people view this type of music, as broad as it is and wide-ranging in its genres, as intimidating and even alienating. Our intention is to get more people out to see how engaging it can be to witness it in a live setting, and how much variety exists within the umbrella of experimental music.”
Watt and Doucet have done a great job at showcasing Vancouver’s diverse underground with a line up that covers a lot of terrain. You will experience everything from the harsh wall noise of the Rita and dreamy psychedelics of White Poppy, to the precision work of Magneticring and frantic noise punk of N.213’s Group Vision.
“We chose artists based on shaping interesting shows with engaging arcs to the events,” Watt says. “The intention was to keep things diverse, but referential and cohesive at the same time.”
There is something for the tape collecting nerds and the casual passerby with sounds that will delight and confuse you, hopefully at the same time. With all the distractions that this city hands us — usually in the form of an eviction notice — sometimes we forget to celebrate what we actually have.
Big Joy runs from December 5 to 7 at Toonie Bar, the Remington and the Rainbow Connection.
By Joe Smiglicki