WTFest can­celled

Or­ga­niz­ers look­ing to hold con­cert se­ries

The Expositor (Brantford) - - FRONT PAGE - VIN­CENT BALL EX­POS­I­TOR STAFF

Or­ga­niz­ers have pulled the plug on this year’s WTFest but will soon be an­nounc­ing plans for a con­cert se­ries to take place at lo­cal venues in­clud­ing The Rope Fac­tory.

“It was an ag­o­niz­ing de­ci­sion but at the end of the day, we’re OK with it be­cause we know that it’s the right de­ci­sion,” Jamie Stephens, an or­ga­nizer and spokesper­son for the an­nual mu­sic fes­ti­val, said Thurs­day. “We had a tour pack­age booked for this year’s fes­ti­val that we were re­ally ex­cited about and were look­ing for­ward to.

“But for rea­sons beyond our con­trol, that tour pack­age fell apart and won’t be go­ing ahead.”

Although Stephens wouldn’t go into de­tail about the rea­sons for the tour pack­age not go­ing ahead, he said the rea­sons are valid. How­ever, when things fell apart it left him and his team of or­ga­niz­ers very lit­tle time to book bands for this year’s WTFest.

“Book­ing in April for a sum­mer show is last minute,” Stephens said. “It’s like go­ing to Best Buy at 4 p.m. on Box­ing Day in­stead of 8 a.m. there’s not a lot of se­lec­tion left.

“We tried ev­ery­thing we could in­clud­ing some of the other bands on the tour pack­age but we just couldn’t get the dates and times to align.”

In the past, or­ga­niz­ers had linedup bands in­di­vid­u­ally by speak­ing with var­i­ous agents to build the show. For this year’s show, they de­cided to book a tour pack­age, which is put to­gether by one agent or agency who then books dates and venues across North Amer­ica.

Book­ing a tour pack­age helps ease a lot of the lo­gis­ti­cal de­tails that go into putting on a show.

When it be­came ap­par­ent that they wouldn’t be able to get the high-qual­ity bands the fes­ti­val is used to bring­ing to Brant­ford for this year’s event, Stephens and his team, which in­cludes Mark Cal­beck, Lance Cal­beck, Phil Gil­lies and MJ Perry, made the tough de­ci­sion not to go ahead with this year’s fes­ti­val.

“We’ve de­liv­ered high qual­ity shows for the last three years and we want to main­tain that stan­dard,” Stephens said. “We didn’t want to do a show, just for the sake of do­ing a show.

“Our fans are the best and we want to con­tinue to de­liver the best shows pos­si­ble and don’t want to be wa­ter­ing down our prod­uct.”

The line-up for last year’s WTFest in­cluded Our Lady Peace, Col­lec­tive Soul, Tonic, Soul Asy­lum, Tre­ble Charger and Sumo Cyco as well as sev­eral lo­cal bands. WTFest was held at Lion’s Park and last year’s show at­tracted an es­ti­mated 6,500 peo­ple.

Mean­while, plans for WTFest 2019 are al­ready un­der­way and in the mean­time, or­ga­niz­ers are plan­ning a WTFest Con­cert Se­ries that will bring high qual­ity bands to Brant­ford and at the same time show­case some lo­cal tal­ent.

“We’ll be an­nounc­ing very soon plans to do an in­ti­mate show at The Rope Fac­tory and we’re in dis­cus­sions to do a big­ger show at Club NV and we’ve ap­proached to the San­der­son Cen­tre as well,” Stephens said. “We’re pretty ex­cited about the bands we’re plan­ning to bring to Brant­ford and we’re con­fi­dent our fans will love these shows.”

BRIAN THOMP­SON/BRANT­FORD EX­POS­I­TOR

Fans cheer dur­ing WTFest at Lions Park in Brant­ford. The mu­sic fes­ti­val has been can­celled for this year.

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