This Sunday, the University District became the temporary location for a miniature music festival.
Queen’s music blog The Vault hosted their third backyard festival on Sept. 20. The event, named the Welcome Back!-yard Festival 3.1, was hosted in an Alfred St. backyard. Stephen Barry, fourth-year engineering student and member of The Vault, said around 350 people attended the event over the course of the day.
The lineup consisted of Jared Chernoff, Lunch Hour Husbands, Blve Hills, Curfews, Attic Kids, Lost Cousins and The Lyonz. Each band brought their own unique musical sound, which made the event a showcase of multiple genres.
The Alfred St. house, along with its backyard, was large and well-kept as far as student houses go. Among trees wrapped with streamers, guests set up shop with lawn chairs and spread out their blankets facing the house’s back-porch, which acted as the event’s stage.
The miniature festival was made complete by a Justin Bieber cutout, a hot dog stand and a jewellery booth featuring handcrafted items by Sophie Barkman, ArtSci ’16, a fourth-year drama student.
The Vault, an online music blog run by Queen’s students, aims to bring local and Canadian artists to the forefront. Spencer Swayze, a member of The Vault and the local band Curfews, said he hopes the event encourages students to explore different sources of entertainment in Kingston.
“It would be cool to see more students getting involved with this type of stuff, going out and supporting local musicians, because a lot of the time it’s just going out Friday and Saturday going to the same bars,” Swayze said.
With 989 Facebook users having clicked “Attending” on the event page, Annie Brebner, another member of The Vault and Curfews, said they’ve never reached this level of attendance before.
The event also invited people passing by to join in, which Brebner said helped make the event inclusive and relaxed.
“You don’t have to know a lot of people — you can just come hang out and it’s free,” Brebner said.
The team ran into trouble when the original date was cancelled due to poor weather. As an unofficial part of Frosh Week, the event is meant to be a final goodbye to the summer, so The Vault decided to postpone it for the sake of good weather.
Nick Castell, member of The Vault and lead singer of Kingston’s The Attic Kids, said the backyard theme and intimate setting are an important part of the event.
“We’ve always kind of done it [in a backyard]. We just like the backyard theme. We never really were planning on going bigger than the backyard,” Castell said.
The event featured a mix of campus talent and visiting bands from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Montreal natives Callahan Ioannou and Adrian Buccella, members of Lunch Hour Husbands, were among the performers. They describe their music style as indie-rock “with a sax”, and music you can dance or cry to. The band’s road trip to Kingston was their first show outside Montreal.
Ioannou said he was impressed by the event and the city of Kingston.
“It’s amazing; it’s so laid back. I love it. Its good people and good vibes,” Ioannou said.
But The Vault also featured local Kingston bands, including The Attic Kids and Lost Cousins.
The Attic Kids, which was formed three years ago when Freddy Kwon and Nick Castel met in Victoria Hall, have become the closest thing to on-campus celebrities for indie music-lovers.
“We only play shows in Kingston, so it’s really concentrated,” Kwon said.
“We love playing for our friends, so it’s fun.”
The event ran from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m., when police interrupted the show in response to noise complaints. The concert was then moved to an indoor location on Alfred St. for the day’s final performances from the Lost Cousins and The Lyons.
The Bands: An Overview
Jared Chernoff, who was first to perform, presented the crowd with soothing acoustic sounds.
Montreal-based Lunch Hour Husband then provided an animated performance, which combined indie and jazz. The band members celebrated the one-year anniversary of their founding this past July.
Formed in December 2014, Blve Hills played next. They describe their chill sound as “Surfadelic Rock…maybe”. The band’s lead singer, Cody Parnell enjoys playing mellow and trebly riffs.
“When I hear Blve Hills, I think of waves in the ocean. It’s like the ocean, like you’re chilling on the beach,” Parnell said.
The backyard festival was the Curfews’ debut performance. The band’s lead singer, Annie Breber, brought the entire audience to their feet throughout their set.
Indie rock and pop band The Attic Kids list Arkells and Tame Impala as some of their musical influences. Following an impressive performance this past summer at the Wolfe Island Music Festival, their performance at The Vault’s event was highly anticipated.
From touring across Ontario, the release of a debut EP, a recent performance at Wayhome music festival and nomination for the Rising Star award in the Ottawa region, the future looks promising for indie band the Lost Cousins. To the delight of Kingston fans, the band returned for a soulful and spirited performance in front of a hometown crowd on Sunday.
Soldiers of hip hop The Lyonz closed the show. Anthony Salvo and Terrell McLeod Richardson make up the Montreal-based duo. They released their debut album, Peace Beyond the Pines, this past July.
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