“This is not your typical Kootenay music festival.”
These are the words of Jay Hannley, one of several core organizers working with Nelson from Nelson to put on this year’s MASSiF Music Festival at the Legion on Sept. 23 and 24. The first annual event, which has been in the works for two years, will also feature a wrap-up concert at Spiritbar.
“This is a celebration of music that’s under-represented in Nelson,” Hannley, who has been booking gigs in the basement of Kootenay Co-op Radio for years, told the Star.
“When we first started doing our basement shows, we realized that there were all these local bands that had no place to play because they were too midlevel, or too aggressive, too punk. It was hard for them to get gigs.”
But once they were given a chance, the audiences appeared.
“People want to come out and see these shows, so I think we’ve been able to fill that niche. This was the next logical step.”
Now they want to think bigger, and the pair couldn’t be more stoked about the lineup, which includes 23 bands—10 of which are local, including Rainboard, The Automation, Rocktoid and Larch.
“Our headliners for Friday are Preoccupations, who used to be called Viet Cong, and they’ve got a great new album coming out. Then for the Saturday finale we’ll have BRASS close out the night at the Legion before our final celebration with DOA and Day-Glo Abortions at Spiritbar,” said Nelson.
“Then there’s also a reunion set for Leeky Tearducts, a great two-piece that got their start from our basement shows and went off to acclaim before breaking up like all good garage bands do.”
MASSiF is looking to Sled Island Music Festival in Calgary as a template.
“We eventually want to grow it to something like that, which will probably mean expanding the musical scope,” said Nelson. “We’re aiming for it to be annual. We’re really trying to showcase Nelson and show what a great place it is.”