MazzFest features future stars and local talent

By in Culture

CHELSEA POWRIE

Culture Editor

MazzFest 2015, a mini music festival featuring new artists in the world of metal and alternative rock, is shaping up to be the perfect start to summer.

Taking place at Louis’ Pub on May 30, MazzFest will squeeze all the excitement of a full festival into one day. Three separate stages will be in use — one upstairs at Louis’ Loft and two down below. MazzFest’s founder, Vince Geiger, is excited about this year’s new venue and altered focus.

“We have a lot of new talent. Almost all the bands are new,” Geiger said, explaining his vision of the next chapter in the festival’s story. He describes the event as a preview and kickoff for all the bands on their further tours this year. MazzFest is well known in the Canadian metal scene and Geiger is looking forward to it becoming a platform for the exposure of future stars.

MazzFest began six years ago as a project that Geiger undertook as a teenager. It was initially a massive success and the demand has since grown. This is the first year that Louis’ Pub will be hosting the event, as O’Brians Event Center was MazzFest’s previous home. Geiger explained that they have simply outgrown the previous space.

A new venue means new rules, so this year’s event will only be open to those 16 and up. The event was previously open to all ages, which Geiger had specifically decided. Many University of Saskatchewan students who grew up locally will remember the popularity of MazzFest when they were in high school. Geiger wanted an event that teenagers could safely attend that allowed them access to the metal music scene.

“The rave scene is big right now. This provides another option,” he said.

The age restriction doesn’t mean that alcohol won’t be available though. Beer gardens will serve those old enough to indulge. The event will have in-and-out privileges and Louis’ kitchen will be open throughout the day. All of the stages will be in use, so ticket holders can have their pick of a variety of talent at any given moment.

A diversity of genres is another new aspect this year. MazzFest will continue to boast their reliable base of metal talent and will also showcase independent acts from other styles of music. For the first time, a hip-hop act has been included in the lineup, along with alternative rock and punk bands. The lineup looks as though there will be something for everyone.

The talent MazzFest presents comes from all across Canada, making it a great opportunity to experience some of the best independent acts this nation has to offer, all in one place. Local acts will perform as well, such as Saskatoon band Hollow Between the Hills, who describe their music as progressive, melodic metal. Up-and-coming acts from the prairies will feature heavily, including Alberta-based band Colour in the Clouds, whose music is layered in a way that will appeal to fans of any genre.

MazzFest has previously featured acts from the United States and even Europe — a testament to the reputation of this festival. The respect it garners within the music community is something that Geiger intends to uphold.

Music festivals out of town can be expensive, but this one is available in the U of S’ own backyard on a student budget. MazzFest is a perfect opportunity to welcome the summer and take your pick of a wide variety of talented musicians.

MazzFest will be at Louis’ Pub on May 30 beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available online at ticketfly.com or at the door. For more information on the lineup and specific performances, check the MazzFest Facebook page.

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