A MULTI-DAY FESTIVAL aimed at helping to secure a permanent all-ages music venue in the city will take place in Vancouver next month.
Local band BESTiE is presenting the four-day, all-ages music festival #Safe Fest, which will run from October 10 to 13 at venues around the city.
According to band member Rob Cameron, the festival is intended to offer an inclusive experience for all ages, and give young people a chance to participate in the local music scene.
“We have a great, really strong, vibrant music scene in Vancouver, and unfortunately, the way the liquor laws are right now it’s incredibly difficult for anyone under the age of 19 to go see a show, or access that music scene,” Cameron told the Straight by phone. “So we’re trying to make it accessible for kids.”
The festival will feature a mix of under-age bands and established local artists, including the Boom Booms.
The pricing scheme for the event is also aimed at making the event accessible for young people. Full festival passes will cost just $15, while all shows at Astorino’s, Red Cat Records and Neptoon Records will be by donation. Other showcases will cost in the range of $5 to $10.
“I know if you’re a kid and you don’t have a job, it’s tough to get money,” said Cameron. “Even if someone can’t afford $15 for a festival pass, they can still come see about half the shows.”
Profits from the festival will go toward the Safe Amplification Site Society, a non-profit that is working to set up a permanent all-ages venue in Vancouver, and to The Music Tree, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to raising awareness of ecological community projects through concerts and other events.
Safe Amp is currently operating a temporary all-ages music venue at Astorino’s on Venables Street.
“At the moment…any established music venue that is regularly putting on shows is not allowed to have anyone under 19 in the bar,” said Cameron.
“So really if you’re under age and you want to go see shows, you’re either going to a rare music show at a hall that someone’s decided to put on, usually at a loss–because it’s really hard to make money if you’re not selling booze–or Astorino’s.”
Cameron said the idea for the all-ages festival initially came about as part of a challenge through the Peak Performance Project. The members of BESTiE , one of 20 finalists in the competition, hope to see the festival evolve into an annual event.
The submission deadline for bands interested in playing the festival is September 27. More information is available on the #Safe Festwebsite.