This festival's about more than just grass
A Victorian mansion complete with authentic decor and antique lighting is not exactly what one would expect to encounter at a bar, much less a music festival.
Then again, there will be nothing typical about the scenery or the genre of music emanating from Suz Blues House when it opens its doors this Saturday to Grassyfest IV.
Grassyfest IV, London's bi-annual independent music festival, is the self-professed brainchild of promoters Joanna Lund and Noel Greeves. The purpose of the festival is to open people's eyes to local independent music talent, Lund explained.
"There's not a lot of exposure for London bands, so this is a great opportunity for them, and for anyone who wants to come out to have a good time and listen to different kinds of music," she said.
"We're happy to support local initiatives local bands are our bread and butter," said Tom Everett, program director at CHRW 94.7FM, Western's campus radio station and festival sponser.
Everett praised London's entire indie scene, including Grassyfest performers The Tissues, who have been making waves at CHRW and receiving an excellent response from listeners.
CHRW's sponsorship and promotion involvement in the festival dates back to Grassyfest II, Everett said, adding the use of small venues produces a great setting for live music and appeals to a diverse group of people.
The Tissues are joined by Grassy Knoll & the Magic Bullet, as well as The Ming Poppies a great jam band, according to Lund. DJ Phonecard, a hip-hop act from Halifax, will also be in London for the festival.
"The Tissues are an indie-rock band with a country flavour," concluded
Tissues bassist Sookie Mei, after some careful thought.
The Tissues, a relatively new band to the scene, are accustomed to small audiences, so Grassyfest is an excellent opportunity for this "fun-loving band" to do what they love play music in front of people and "spread The Tissues philosophy... whatever that might be," Mei said jokingly.
"I'm really looking forward to the show, it's cool to get to see other local bands," Mei said, who has nothing but praise for the bands The Tissues are set to accompany this weekend.
"I'm really excited to be playing with the Ming Poppies," she said, describing their sound as simply "groovy."
Grassyfest supporters maintain that the show offers an escape from a conventional night in London's bar scene.
"People are sick of a typical setting," Lund suggested, noting the success of the previous Grassyfests.
The creative mix of musical genres attracted close to 500 people for the last festival and the shows are getting progressively better, Lund asserted.
"[Grassyfest] mostly appeals to students, but we're targeting anyone," she said.
Support for the diversity and originality advocated by Grassyfest is evident on campus.
"I'd be up for supporting local bands; I'm into classic rock, but I appreciate new music," said second-year kinesiology student Adrian Cohen. "It seems like a cool way to see a wide variety of music, and [the range of performers] adds more flavour."
Grassyfest IV kicks off this Saturday at Suz Blues House (566 Dundas St.)
with doors opening at 9 p.m.. Cover is $5 or $4 with a canned-food donation
for The London Food Bank.