Whistlerites are something of a spoiled bunch when it comes to free concerts. Every year, the town plays host to at least two massive festivals that feature 10 days of back-to-back beats and bass. And this year, the months of February and March saw the streets infiltrated with a myriad of musical groups as part of the artistic programming for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Well, buckle your seat belts: the 2010 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival (TWSSF) isn't holding anything back this year. In fact, because of all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Games, organizers have taken a fresh approach to mapping out their musical lineup this time around.
Rather than stick with big-name tried-and-true performers like Xavier Rudd, Sam Roberts, 54-40 and K'Naan, who have all graced Whistler main stages before, the folks at Watermark Communications, the company that is organizing the 15 th annual TWSSF April 16-25, decided to unearth some new up-and-coming acts that probably aren't on people's radar - yet.
Lisa Richardson, spokesperson for Watermark, admits that this year's musical programming is a departure from previous years. But their goal was the same.
"It's the same as what we're always aiming for, which is a really great, positive vibe of bands to draw people to Whistler, essentially, and to remind people that there's still great skiing and snowboarding to have, and it's a great time of year to come and visit and to create that party atmosphere."
Rock, hip hop, funk and electronica have proven to be the crowd-pleasing genres for the TWSSF crowd, but this year, organizers have turned their attention from the mainstream to the indie side of things, searching out acts that are new to the Whistler audience.
"I think it sort of forced us to be a little bit more creative and look in some different places," Richardson said.
Let's take a look at the headliners for this year's outdoor concert series, who will be performing on the main stage in Skier's Plaza between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. every day during the festival:
Breakestra - This "funked-up" eight-piece orchestra hails from Los Angeles, where they tap into the looping percussive heart of hip hop. The group's most recent album, From Dusk Til Dawn , draws on deep funk, soul and jazz and is all about letting loose with some serious grooves. They've worked with the likes of Jurassic 5, Black Eyed Peas, BB King and Macy Gray.
Heavyweight Dub Champion - This dub, trip hip and electronica collective has created an incredible alchemy of vibration using a combination of vintage analog and digital gear. The arts and music collective was founded in Colorado in 1997, rooted in the world of electronic music and carving out a niche by incorporating acoustic instrumentation with synthetic and electronic elements. Today, the group features a constantly rotating roster of performers from throughout the States, Australia and the UK.