08 Apr, 2011
Welcome to our newest patron: WESTFEST
I am really happy to welcome the latest addition to the Fishbowl family! Please take a moment to say helloooo to Westfest.
Westfest is free, interdisciplinary community festival that will be celebrating their 8th year. But interdisciplinary sounds a bit, hmm, stuffy. It’s not the right word. So let me rephrase that: Westfest is a giant 14-block street party that celebrates art and life. It really does. The main strip along Richmond closes down to cars, creating one giant hive of people. In fact, I wonder if we should start calling it Bestfest. Although they’ve had some growing pains, I’ve talked to a lot of people about it lately and they all agree that this is going to be the best one yet. :)
The thing I love most about Westfest - and I have mentioned this here before - is seeing our friends and neighbors taking part in what has turned into a really cool tradition. Imagine, we have a festival in our very own neighborhood!
This year, Westfest will be taking place Friday June 10 - Sunday June 12.
I had the opportunity to attend the official launch on April 1. It’s going to be one hellaevent. The theme this year is “Westfest gets Naked” which I think is absolutely hilarious.
It remains to be seen whether someone interprets this literally and embraces noodee behaviour at some point over the weekend. WHO KNOWS. But seriously, it’s a great nod to the headlining musical act, Bif Naked. (Woot!)
Now that my kids are older I am really looking forward to enjoying more of the music acts and discovering something new. The lineup looks amazing. Every night has something worth checking out. Headliners include Lucie Idlout on Friday, Bif Naked on Saturday, and the Mighty Popo on Sunday.
The big change this year is that the main stage has been moved behind the Superstore on Richmond at Kirkwood (along the giant strip of unused grass). This basically quadruples the audience area for the main stage. There’s a grassy hill which runs alongside the length of the audience area, which will create some nice breathing room and a bit of a buffer, allowing Westfest to fence it all off and make the space fully licenced. (Yay!)
Also worth noting- and in keeping with the music theme (as opposed to the naked theme) - Westfest is giving away a $3000 custom guitar. Your name is automatically entered when you buy a Westfest t-shirt or cap… which will be available during Westfest at merchant tents along the street and at the Domicile main stage. More info about that here. I am SO entering this contest. If I win I swear I will learn to play the guitar.
Other good stuff to know:
- Twitter Tweeps: Westfest is on Twitter! I will be tweeting out bits and bobs over Westfest weekend. If you’re on Twitter you can follow along (and add to the convo!) using #Westfest.
- Photogs: did you know there is a Westfest Flickr group? Upload your pics there as you go so we can all admire them!
- F’bookers will want to like Westfest on Facebook and get special insider scoop.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the official charity of Westfest is the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. (Full disclosure: I sit on the board of the YSB Charitable Foundation.) They are a WONDERFUL organization and deserve every penny that is donated. When you see Westfest volunteers asking for donations (they’ll be roving the streets with empty paint cans), please give generously.
I hope to see you there!
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