Virgin Festival Calgary

The lineup is up…

Stone Temple Pilots
The Tragically Hip
The Flaming Lips
City and Colour
Mathew good
Three Days Grace
The New Pornographers
Corb Lund
Fact to Face
Attack in Black
Pride Tiger
Crash Parallel
The Dudes
The Whitsundays
Ten Second Epic
The Spades
Said the Whale

Weekend pass: $125

I almost had to eat my words about this festival. Last week, Morrissey made a statement that read

I am also pleased to be asked to join the bill at the V Festival at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and also at Fort Calgary in Calgary.

I kind of lost my mind when I read that. I have been obsessed with The Smiths and Morrissey since I was a lad, and have yet to see him live (when that day comes, I am stalking his tour bus, getting him to sign my arm and then getting it tattooed there). Then that statement continues:

However, as we all know, the psychologically and constitutionally sickening Canadian seal-kill has started and is once again in full-cry.

Oh christ, here we go. Look Morrissey, you are awesome and everything, but punishing your Canadian fan base (most of whom likely agree with you that the barbaric seal hunting practices should stop) is really stupid. YOU PLAY SHOWS IN THE US, A COUNTRY THAT KILLS MORE IRAQI HUMAN BEINGS IN A YEAR THAN CANADA DOES SEALS!!! Ugh. I get really worked up about this all the time. Shit, I would have sat through Three Days Grace, Mathew Good AND City and Colour to see Morrissey, but alas, that is not to be. Just as well, as that is the musical equivalent to being bludgeoned to death by a sealing club (which, might I add, I am morally opposed to).

What happened to the lip service to having “local music” on the bill? I see the Dudes, The Whitsundays (from Edmonton, which should count I guess, but they are also playing the superior Sled Island, so fuck that), but that is it (and in order to say that for sure, I looked into some of the bands I hadn’t heard like Crash Parallel from Ontario, and who are apparently “drawing comparisons to artists such as Coldplay, The Fray, David Gray and Counting Crows” (which, aside from their music are four reasons why they must be avoided at all costs). Oh shit – Ten Second Epic (which is subsequently the length of time I could listen to their myspace) are from Edmonton too.

Sure there are a few Annotated Everything favourites on the bill (Flaming Lips, The New Pornographers, Constantines), but most of this festival just reeks of the dying (not soon enough) corporate music industry. A lot of the bands (and the structure behind the bands) are still desperately pushing music as a “product,” and talking (in a very 1990’s way) about “content” (“Get the digital release for bonus CONTENT!”). For those bands that avoid that way of doing business in the music industry, the stink kind of wafts over to them as well (whether they like it or not).

Secondly, who is this lineup going for? Are Stars fans going to want to sit through Attack in Black? Will Attack in Black fans sit through Said the Whale? Will anyone want to sit through Three Days Grace? To paraphrase Pierre Bourdieu, “taste is nothing more than the distaste of the taste of others” – something that I will admit fuels a post like this. Yet, it is one thing for me to think that this lineup is full of shit, and it is another for me to react against this form of blatant “focus grouped” lineup that appears to these eyes to be nothing more than a vehicle to move “units” (as opposed to a way for music fans to come together and enjoy a nice day in the sun without the taint that is a Branson-sponsored shill-fest).

7 thoughts on “Virgin Festival Calgary

  1. I wish the Hip were playing Sasquatch instead. I mean, who will Gord Downie even TALK to backstage with a line-up like this? Maybe he, Wayne Coyne and A.C. Newman will all just stay locked in their respective trailers reading some Thoreau, while the Three Days Grace guys text their girlfriends and hand-pick some chesty groupies.

  2. I know a few people who are going to go with fevered excitement to see STP and Three Days Grace, I’m not going to name names, because that’d be rude, but yes, corporate stink hole.

  3. Pingback: Richard Branson Drops His Mighty Suck-bomb! « Attempted Mustache

  4. Oh man, Paul, this made me laugh out loud! I’m glad for Sasquatch – if not for it, I might feel bad about not going to see Flaming Lips in Calgary.

  5. Seeing the God’s of music, The Flaming Lips, would be worth sitting through even Nickelback. Just saying is all.

  6. Hey remember that matthew good song apparitions? that was awesome. It’s nice to hear about matthew good agian! HAHA just kidding paul! BD

  7. I’m going… Flaming Lips are a reason to go! come on!! well hey if you’re not loving the Calgary line up check this comp to win a 2009 Global VIP V Pass … come on Paul they’re looking for talented bloggers like you !!

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