Involving eight different bodies and featuring 15 different bands, organizing QPOP Music Festival for the first time was no easy feat. QPOP was created in order to emphasize the presence of student and community talent at campus establishments, thereby bringing the Queen’s community together.
Alex Marshall, Hospitality and Safety Services Director at the AMS, was the main event organizer. Marshall helped coordinate the festival’s venues and will focus on ensuring that QPOP runs smoothly from behind the scenes.
“It’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff,” said Marshall, ConEd ‘14. “I manage a lot of the relationships with the bands in terms of making them feel welcome. The job also includes working on getting the sound technicians on board through Kingston Sound-Works, and festival promotion.” The concept of the festival started with the AMS alongside the Engineering Society, the Student Life Centre (SLC) and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS).
From there, the organizations met with the Grad Club, Clark Hall Pub, The Underground and Common Ground Coffeehouse (CoGro) at the Queen’s University pub meeting, where they introduced the idea to the establishments, Marshall said.
“We all met and had a discussion about a collaboration that’s never really been done before with the establishments,” he said. “So that’s where it came from, an idea that we want to celebrate the campus and community — and there’s no better way to do that than a music festival.”
The process of planning the event began in May, after the AMS yearly position turnover. The initial focus was to showcase Canadian and student artists.
“We got in contact with Virginia Clarke from the Grad Club — she has a lot of contacts within the Canadian music scene,” he said. “After that point we did a call for student bands, who sent in applications and have got a lot of energy — we really appreciate that.” The festival will be split up into the four venues on or near campus (The Grad Club, Clark Hall Pub, CoGro and The Underground) between the two nights. Some of the bands playing throughout the venues include Lost Cousins, Sweet Jets, Wildlife, Will Hunter, July Talk, Rich Aucoin and more.
“In terms of the venues, we said we’re not competing with another,” Marshall said. “So we worked together for something really special, something that could potentially be a long run of a festival if it’s successful.”
They didn’t want to shoot too big and have an outdoor festival, Marshall said. They wanted to celebrate campus space and look to see how well it does, then go from there in terms of the festival’s future.
He added that one of the festival’s goals is to create a space where audiences can support student artists as well as appreciate the value of the campus establishments where the performances will take place.
“It’s really awesome to bring people’s attention to campus venues that can go unnoticed. They’re wonderful places that are for the student community,” Marshall said. “We also wanted to have a cross-venue festival so we could celebrate and show a lot of the musical talent on campus, and really draw students to it to help those artists succeed.”
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