By Jeremy Farkas
Streets Ahead Festival is a primarily hardcore music festival, organized by Ottawa locals, Lance Crowder and Steve Nadeau. Born out of the ashes of last years Northern Breed festival, and continuing in the tradition of Heart Fest, Streets Ahead will be donating all proceeds to charity. This year the charity of choice is Harmony House, the only second stage shelter in Ottawa for women and their children who are survivors of violence.
“I have many friends who have been victims of abuse, be it physical, mental, emotional, and it breaks my heart,” Crowder said. “Our team wants to support these people however we can. If anyone reading this feels compelled to get involved before the fest, their website accepts donations at all times and I urge you to do so.”
Jeremy Farkas caught up with Crowder about the changes.
Why the name change?
“The original name was something I thought sounded cool, similar to other hardcore festivals like United Blood, and Sound & Fury,” Crowder said. “Over the last year there has been a lot of . . . less than desirable behaviour from some groups in North America regarding white pride. Now, nothing happened regarding the fest, or the name, but with words like “pure breed”, “northern pride”, etc floating around because of groups like that, I wanted to not only distance what we’re doing as far away from that as possible, but also make it crystal clear that this isn’t the event for anyone who subscribes to that kind of ideology.”
The name Streets Ahead comes from the song of the same title by the Canadian icons, The Tragically Hip.
Where is it?
Streets Ahead will be happening November 16-18 at Mavericks. The first day of shows will be upstairs at Cafe Dekcuf with the rest happening downstairs.
The line-up is stacked, featuring locals Doxx, Quiet Crimes, Sedition, Power of Fear, and Refuse to Change, among other bands from all over North America. Notable headliners include Misgiver, Vatican, Antagonize, and Mil-Spec.
“This year, the goal was to grow. Last year was a two-day festival. One day was substantially stronger than the other. This year we wanted to not only have bigger bands, but also be more inclusive as well. This is why we have constructed a diverse lineup. These bands are playing because they deserve to play, but also because myself, Steve, Walk A Mile, and everyone else involved in the hardcore community here in Ottawa are extremely focused of the fact that hardcore is for everyone,” Crowder said.
“Simply put, try it out. If you like hardcore, or hardcore adjacent music, or even live music in general, come out. You’ll make some friends, see some new bands, and worst case scenario, at least you know your money is going to a good cause. The music scene can be intimidating to try and integrate yourself into, but it is what you make it. If you’re open minded, and looking to have fun, you can find comfort in knowing you’re in a room full of like-minded individuals who have a common passion for music. There are a lot of ways to help build your scene: start a zine, a label, a band, a podcast, book a show, film sets/ take photos, or just show up. This is a community where everyone contributes in their own way, so if you see an area you think is lacking, do something about it.”