More Guelph Music History & GMAF2017 Saturday Announcements!
This years historic theme for our 7th annual festival gave us the opportunity to take a new perspective on how we usually approach booking for our the fest. It gave us a chance to reflect and look back at some of the bands, musicians, establishments and more importantly, people who helped shape not only our annual festival but also the Guelph music scene as a whole.
It also gave us the opportunity to take a look at our own history both as a company and also as a festival to share our own experiences growing up in a changing city and in an industry that seemed to have an uncertain future.
I’ve lived in Guelph since 2000 and in the 17 years since then I’ve seen everything from downtown venues changing their programming to suit whatever trend was hitting the bar scene that year, to spaces being bought out by a competitor who had a different vision for the venue than local & live music. Either that or they just flat out closed down due to one or any number of other factors.
There was even one space that was used as not only a thrift / antique shop but also a space for bands and community members to host fundraisers, charity shows, or just regular shows, who were forced out only to have the building paved over for a parking lot. Sounds familiar, right.
In all of this we also saw the end of an era when the Trasheteria, located at 52 Macdonell St, changed ownership. The new owners decided to take the venue in another direction and after a name change and a few years has had a full demo and rebuild and is now a downtown eatery who hosts dj’s and cover bands on weekends. A stage that once hosted the likes of the Dillinger Escape Plan, Wintersleep, Gob, Between the Buried & Me, Moneen, Alexisonfire, and even Ice-T, along with so many more, is gone and replaced with a much smaller one to suit a nightclub.
The Shadow, was another venue that was once used for a variety of punk, metal, rock & hip hop shows and was a hotspot for locals for anything underground & live. A small dingy room that was perfect for young and upcoming local bands looking for their first show or their 30th. The hole in the wall where so many memories were made has now become a storage space below The Western.
Through my teens and into my early 20’s I saw the decline and near end of big name touring acts playing Guelph, less festival circuits hitting the area, poor attendance at major festivals and events, a drop in record sales leading to the closing of local music stores, and an environment that seemed all but hellbent on ending local and live music as we knew it…
It was from this environment that that our annual festival was born.
We knew there was talent out there, just most of it was being overlooked or pushed aside for one reason or another. We chose 13 Guelph bands that we felt best represented the Guelph sounds at the time. Everything from solo acts to metal bands to indie and everything in between across all 3 floors of 10 Wyndham St, then known as Van Gogh’s Ear.
It’s amazing we pulled it off, but we did.
One of the most important aspects, aside from having a team willing to put in the hours and work, especially in our first year was the location. Anyone who has ever thrown a show, festival or event knows that as cliché and over-used as the sayings are, location matters. With venues and spaces closing or not being available or open to live music it’s all about utilizing what you’ve got. Each year we’ve aimed to think outside the box as it’s where the idea to take over all 3 floors of 10 Wyndham St came from in the first place.
After all, an equally important aspect to creating any art form is having an outlet or space to showcase it. Often the venue itself is the most important piece of the show.
As our festival expands and as we explore more spaces that Downtown Guelph has to offer we wanted to utilize spaces and venues that made sense to this years theme.
This year we’re very proud to present a very special showcase that will be happening at the Guelph Civic Museum and features Guelph’s own Saturdae Jonez (aka D’eve Archer) performing on Saturday, March 4th, 2017!!!
We like to push the envelope at GAIN Music but know above all the importance of proper production and audio no matter where the show and no matter what the event. We paid more attention to that this year and are excited for each showcase happening across all 5 days of this years fest!
This year more than others we’ve aimed to weave together art, music and history not only through the bands we’ve chosen for our 2017 lineup but also in the spaces & venues we’ve chosen this year as well!
We hope you’re excited for the rest of our announcements and keep following all the updates as we’ll be releasing a few special features through this site as we near the festival!
** Follow all the updates & news on social media via #GMAF2017 **