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Cranking up the sound

Lineup is more than gravity-defying tricks – Crankworx offers up lots of live entertainment

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What: Crankworx entertainment

When: Saturday, Aug. 9 to Sunday, Aug. 17

Where: Telus Mainstage, Skiers Plaza

Cost: Free

Hardcore mountain bikers may be watching the boneyard with mouths agape during the eight days of Crankworx, but there’s more to this annual event than simply hucking jumps and catching big air.

This year, the artistic offerings are extensive, with performances by 17 talented musical acts set to take the stage in Skier’s Plaza while amateur and big-name athletes alike show what they’re made of in the bike park. Just when you thought the fun was over, with the inaugural Whistler Music Festival and Pemberton Festival barely behind us, it turns out that there’s more music in store.

Tyl von Toorn is the CEO of TNT Productions, the company directing the musical content of this year’s Crankworx. His company has been working on events in Whistler for almost 12 years now, including some of the former Crankworx festivals. But this year, von Toorn said their musical lineup is better than ever, with a unique cast of energetic, up and coming artists that contrast and complement one another very well.

When von Toorn discovered that Whistler-Blackcomb and the other stakeholders involved in Crankworx wanted to step it up a notch and build an identity for a music festival within the larger, overall Crankworx event, he was eager to get on board.

“We’re talking about an actual music festival aligned to a mountain biking festival, and one that has a personality and identity, not one that’s just sort of filling the slots in between competitions,” von Toorn explained. “…It’s not just about mountain biking music, it’s about people who love music and being outside and watching music and being involved in sport. I think it’s about creating more of a lifestyle experience.”

Von Toorn describes the lineup as “artistic,” featuring performances that encompass a diverse range of genres, but which share a few common traits: all give quality and intense live performances that are perfect for a balmy summer afternoon.

The week will see mainstays who are already known and established, like K’Naan and Shout Out Out Out, playing alongside some hot new talent that you may not know of yet, like Woodhands and Flash Lightnin’ — both bands that von Toorn said he personally can’t get enough of.

While the music will definitely appeal to the younger crowd that usually comes along to Crankworx each summer, von Toorn is quick to point out that the offerings are also sophisticated enough to appeal to an older ear.

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