By Owen Maxwell
Artwork by Paterson
One of the latest festivals to hit the April lineup is coming from a group that was actually avoiding making a festival.
“We always said we never wanted to do a festival because they’re so crazy and they’re a lot of work,” said Emily McQuarrie of Debaser. “But we realized we had six shows in one month, so we wanted to do something that wasn’t necessarily a festival and more of a series, so we made it into a kind of spring thing.”
From its unintentional beginnings, the new concert series from Debaser, dubbed The Spring Thing, will be running six shows with 19 bands from April 3 to May 6, and despite the impressive lineup, it was mostly a result of good timing.
“The spring is when people are booking a lot of shows in the first place, so there’s a lot of requests and people touring through the area already,” said McQuarrie. “Plus the spring is exciting, people are coming out of hibernation and want to do something.”
With multiple shows already booked, McQuarrie and Debaser co-founder Rachel Weldon asked Ottawa Explosion to join the series as well, rounding out their roster, but there are still a few challenges ahead of them.
“One reason we’re making this more of a series is because it’s the first year, so we wanted to take a smaller step to avoid usual festival challenges,” said McQuarrie. “Most of the logistical challenge is going to be ticket stuff, and ideally we won’t have issues getting people excited for the lineup.”
It won’t be too difficult considering the wide range of talent coming to the festival like The Luyas, Century Egg, COUSINS, Lab Coast, Spell, Freak Heat Waves, Frigs, Helena Deland, Fog Lake, Future States, and many more.
Keeping themselves unique from other festivals and series, the Spring Thing is also looking to stay as accessible as possible and bring Debaser’s trademarks to a larger scale endeavour.
“Something we’re doing differently from normal is offering ticket packages and a sampler to get people interested in multiple shows,” said McQuarrie. “Something else we normally do with shows is a pay-what-you-can/no one turned away option, so if you can’t afford the posted ticket price, send us an email and we’ll make sure they can access the show.”
As for any future seasonal “things” or a recurring spring series, McQuarrie suggests that remains to be seen for now.
“These kinds of shows go really well and it’s something Rachel and I have talked about doing so hopefully it happens,” said McQuarrie. “We’ll have to see, maybe it will morph into something different.”
For a full list of shows, artists, and venues goes to debaser.ca