The wait is over. LIVE at Squamish's much-anticipated lineup has finally been revealed and it's loaded with Canadian acts.
The Tragically Hip, City and Colour, Chromeo and Mother Mother are a few of the artists billed for the festival's third year, which will take place Friday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 26 at Henrickson Fields & Loggers Sports Ground. Festival organizers brand.LIVE announced the lineup at a launch party at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on Wednesday night.
"What we're seeing this year is the natural growth of this thing," says Paul Runnals, senior vice president of brand.LIVE. "It's year three, it's established itself as a solid event that a lot of people have come to now and have seen and have had great experienced at. The artist community has echoed those sentiments out into their circles, so we're gaining easier and faster access to artists."
Organizers were looking for artists that are "relevant to the kind of experience that we're trying to create" when selecting the lineup.
The festival bill so far includes The Tragically Hip, City and Colour, Chromeo, Lights, The Sheepdogs, Charles Bradley, Mother Mother, The Airborne Toxic Event, Wintersleep, Kathleen Edwards, Plants & Animals, Current Swell, The Pack A.D., Beats Antique, Rich Hope, The Matinée, Wake Owl, Humans, Washboard Union, Maurice, No Sinner, Good For Grapes, Rococode, Yes Nice, Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer and Facts. DJs John Morgan, Andy Chambers, Kristian Littman, Maurice Ryan and Henry Mah are scheduled for the Silent Disco. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Runnals says there was no intention to include Canadian acts as the bulk of the lineup, it's just how scheduling worked out. With the Reading and Leeds Festivals taking place the same weekend in the U.K., as well as the newly returned Creamfields, it "blocks out" some of the artists that LAS had access to.
"The reality is, if you look at the festival guide for summer, there's half a dozen festivals happening every weekend," he says. "It's just what size and scale are they and how much do they impact an artist when they're making decisions on whether they're going to be touring North America in August or they're going to be touring over in Europe. No matter what date you hold a festival, you're always going to be up against somebody."
For months, fans of LAS have taken to Twitter proclaiming their anticipation over the lineup announcement. Now that it's finally here, many will undoubtedly be wondering which artists are headlining/playing which day.
Sadly, they'll have to wait.
"We're trying to create a culture of festival here so we're more interested in promoting the experience as a weekend festival. As people are camping in the community and staying in hotels and doing all that sort of stuff, and really engaging in the spirit of festival culture instead of just driving up on Saturday afternoon for three hours and then driving back to the city," he says.
The pre-sale for weekend passes starts Thursday, April 5, at 10 a.m., with the general public sale beginning the following week on Friday, April 13. Runnals says they'll likely release the festival schedule then, when the single day tickets go on sale — that is, if they go on sale.
"If we blow through some of the numbers that we think we might on our advance sales, we may rethink the date and whether or not we actually do put single-day tickets in the mix and all that stuff," he says.
The 2011 festival, which included headliners Weezer and Metric, attracted 8,900 people on Saturday and 7,800 people on Sunday. He says they're aiming to sell 13,000 tickets per day — the maximum capacity for the venue. Given the "tremendous growth" from year one to year two, he says they're expecting similar growth this year.
"I'd be surprised if we're not getting close to capacity, in particular on the Saturday," he says.
An extra night has been added to the festival this year (the past two years have taken place on Saturday and Sunday, though there was some surprise programming on the Friday night last year), but otherwise he says the format will stay "largely the same" as last year, including the two main stages, the Meadow stage featuring intimate, acoustic performances and the silent disco.
"We're looking at a few slight tweaks for some of that stuff but nothing that's going to reinvent it in its entirety," he says.
For more information on the festival and tickets visit www.liveatsquamish.com.