So city a councillor tries to liken the transplanting of the frequently homeless Big Music Fest to Coachella. Coachella booked musicians based on artistry instead of radio popularity. And it wasn’t just music. Coachella focused absolutely on innovation.There were installation artists, performance artists, and so many other amazing things sprung out of this.
(I don’t have permission to post any Coachella photos, but here’s a link to Coachella Art – Kitchener does not have even close to what it takes to make this happen. It can barely support its own contemporary arts festivals and organisations)
It is now the largest grossing music festival in the USA. Some say it’s corporate beyond belief. Criticisms abound.
But the point is, Coachella was built from the ground up and focused heavily on the interesting, the different, the weird, so long as it was artistically sound. It was built with the inclusion of several forms of art, making not just a music fest, but a culture of creativity surrounding a desire to build something new.
The Big Music Fest is a transplant. It’s imposed on a neighbourhood. It’s lining up acts that have nothing to do with each other than they could be booked, no ethos, no commonality other than they attract us who are on the edge of grey hair. It isn’t making a community around art or creativity. The comparison is completely stupid. Pulling old rockers out of their mausoleums to grace outdoor stages is not innovative. It isn’t fresh. It happens in every major Canadian city at outdoor venues.
It isn’t that Coachella is some precious, true to form always authentic music fest. But the way it was grown was through a curation beyond… OMG WIN! Rod Stewart! It was aimed at being anti-popular, even earning the monicker Anti-Woodstock after the Woodstock 99 crapulence (which is more what the Big Music Fest looks like).
If there was money to do this, it should have been placed in a way to build something new. Something interesting. Yes, attract big names (even Rod Stewart) but the nonsense of getting art-in-a-can, microwave for 3 minutes and serve can never, ever hold a candle to true excellence, true artistry, and real, actual culture. Kitchener, you will never learn.
Much like how you will never be Silicon Valley (North or otherwise), you will never be Coachella (North). And why do you find it so appealing to copycat other good ideas? Why do you need to find someone else to follow around like a cloud of gnats on a hiking trail? You want culture? Start supporting your own. You sure aren’t going to get it in a drop-in music fest. You will just get… drop-ins.
When will you realise that our city is already great? But that anyone who has talent has to high tail it out of here as if the ground is made of artist hating lava and their shoes are on fire?