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Crankworxing up the entertainment

New slide shows and block party join the Crankworx festival mayhem of mainstage concerts and DJ nightcaps



What: Kokanee Crankworx

When: July 20-29

Where: Whistler Village

Entertainment continues to climb at the Kokanee Crankworx mountain bike festival July 20 to 29 in Whistler Village.

“The slopestyle finals are going to be happening with A Whole Lotta Led to get the crowd roaring with the best athletes in the world throwing it down,” said Kokanee Crankworx general manager Jeremy Roche.

New cultural additions join the free outdoor mainstage concert series lineup, including mountain-bike-themed photo slide shows and a block party that invites everyone to come out and play with the best of riding, films, concerts and more.

The Block Party kicks off July 26 at the concert mainstage in Skier’s Plaza. Music charges out with The Sessions and Velvet followed by the world premier of Crankworx greatest hits, a film compilation from the vaults of New World Disorder, as well as the trailer for NWD 8 on the JumboTron. Along with the outdoor big screen showing, the flicks will play out simultaneously at Black’s Pub, the Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub and the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).

“Everyone is involved; that’s why we call it a block party,” Roche said.

The festival really gets clicking later on in the week with the new addition of photography slide shows.

The Road Less Traveled slide show July 25 at MY Millennium Place features acclaimed photographers Derek Frankowski, Sterling Lorence, Christopher Margot, Stephen Wilde and Chris Winter. Proceeds will benefit the Zero Ceiling Society.

Award-winning photographer Blake Jorgenson will present Nepal, A Himalayan Bike Adventure July 25 at MY Millennium Place. Armchair travelers will follow Hans Rey, Richie Schley and Wade Simmons through the Annapurna and Langtang regions of Nepal to traverse mountains, singletrack and first descents that take nearly three days to conquer.

Teeks Tekniques conquers the music lineup this year and they don’t call it the Monster Mainstage for nothing.

Tried, tested and true indie bands rock out thanks to the wily music of Reggie Tika.

Slackstring’s easy, breezy groove will be no stranger to two-wheelers July 21. Their sounds-like-summer styling is featured on The Collective, Ultimate Sessions and Roam. The Wassabi Collective drives the show forward with tribal beats anchored in organic electronica rhythm that hoola hoops around smooth jazz, magnetic hip hop and fun lovin’ reggae.

Hey Ocean! calls out July 24, shakin’ up a test tube of folk, reggae, funk and jazz into one dancing science experiment. Get rhythm later on with Los Rastrillos and their reggae grooves of 15 years. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Jimmy Cliff. Their Mexican pop with indu and ska beats put listeners en route to self-awareness and listening bliss.

Monster Mainstage revs up with raw, rigorous rock from Cold Driven July 25 followed by Auto Switch, who carries on the metal torch then riffs into soft rock to win fans over regardless of music affiliation.

The Sessions ride out the British rock scene July 26, with their ’80s new wave dance movement that landed them top honours at the largest battle of the bands in the world, beating over 8,000 bands at the 2006 Emergenza Music Festival. Kuba Oms and Velvet’s music isn’t too shabby either. The leader of their organic electronic music has shared stages with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Nelly Furtado and Parliament.

DN6 and Quest Poetics tag team July 27 dropping hip hop with funk and jazz grabs, followed by Whistler’s intellectual indie hip hop duo Animal Nation and Moka Only, who has won three Junos, seven Much Music video awards and is a former member of West Coast super group Swollen Members.

Whistler’s A Whole Lotta Led rips into slopestyle finals with the gusty, hard rockin’ blues of Led Zeppelin July 28. Soar through the instrumental genius of Jimmy Page’s guitar solos with Creekside Phil and Robert Plant’s jaw-dropping vocals from Grateful Greg.

Redeye rides out the seven-day music party with reggae, rock and ska beats muddled into a cross between Jack Johnson and Sublime. Fresh off a tour supporting G Love and Special Sauce, these local boys are raring to go.

If you still haven’t gotten enough of a dance fix, the Kokanee aftershock DJ series at nightclubs through out Whistler will keep festival revelers bouncing into the a.m. hours.

For more information on Kokanee Crankworx events, visit crankworx.com.