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My Day Job… May 29, 2006

Posted by sunship in Festivals - Reviews.

It’s not all fun and games here at the ranch. Sure thing, the joys of weeding and brush burning can’t last forever and it’s unavoidable that the real work has to get underway.

So it’s time to get rolling, and get on the job:

First up:

2006 DOXA Documentary Film and Video Festival – May 23 – 28.  Their blurb: Join us for six days of innovative and groundbreaking documentaries from Canada and the world and discover a whole cast of renegades, dreamers, lovers, outcasts, inventors, escapees and insomniacs.

I’m not sure I can take the grueling grind for six whole days. This is the first festival warm-up for me so gotta pace myself a bit. Let’s see… Bombay Calling, Into the Night, The Swenkas, A State of Mind, Real Cartoons, Village Life and then Escape to Canada. That’s it! Come on… I mean that’s the swag anyway. We’ll see if I can deliver the goods. I refuse to eat popcorn at the movies so that should lighten the load a bit.

I get a break after that and just to keep in shape a few outings. RIME looks like a good club to aerobize (sic) in and they have some local folks banging on pots and pans and such… Strictly to stay in shape you know…

Next up:

Vancouver International Digital Festival – (VidFest) – June 14-16.  Hmmm this is a bit pricey. Not sure I have the stamina to listen to talking heads for three days but the cats insist I attend and try to make pleasant. Lots of speakers and maybe I’ll get some swag. Lord knows I need a good baseball hat and a few more refrigerator magnets.

The pace picks up now and the slave drivers have slammed two festivals into the calendar!

World Urban (Music) Festival – June 21 – 25. At least it’s FREE to get in (some shows require payment). The program is packed… it’s going to take all my powers to decide what shows to see. I know you all will be rooting for me (Australians please ignore the verb) and wishing me the best.

To make matters difficult this above festival slams into the next and overlaps by a few days.

In fact Sunday June 25th is insane with three programs crashing down on me. The pain!!!

Vancouver International Jazz Festival – June 23 – July 2

This one I am pretty used to attending since it’s probably my 20th time. But still the effort can be enormous… usually there are painful schedule conflicts and so always some regrets. Just parsing the festivals lists of artists and keeping the schedules straight requires keen note taking skills. I was considering volunteering this year but I just can’t do it, maybe next year.

·         DMC DJ Battle (Vancouver)June 25th!! – What are they trying to do to me? If the jazz festival wasn’t enough, Sunday the 25th has three festivals colliding. Urban, Jazz, and this beast. Apparently someone thought it would be cool to have an International DJ battle/run-off to see who can make people sweat the most or something… So I guess I have to drag myself out to cheer the local folks at the Vancouver edition. It looks like this happens all over Canada, so I guess in the states too. It all ends here for the big showdown.

A bit of a breather now as July tosses up some easy work. By now you’d think I was in good shape.

Vancouver Folk Festival – July 14-16 – This should be good from what I hear but they haven’t listed the performers yet… It’s just three days so it can’t hurt right? Besides I mean it’s Folk music… it should just be lemonade in the grass. But don’t worry I will be on my toes, unless the previous June has killed me and I am dead. In which case I will send the cats (last will) to review it.

Mission Folk Festival – July 21 – 23 – This looks easy also; another picnic, even the website looks relaxed. I’ve just got to mind the sun-lotion and the inevitable FOLK ART booths selling rough hand-dyed itchy fabrics. But I will say that folk fests grant the opportunity to buy a little shaky, squeaky, clicky music toys to take back, play poorly, abuse and hang on the wall.

Good thing July was easy huh? Cause now we get to some SERIOUS effort… in August.

Festival VancouverFestival Vancouver? Never heard of it, but it appears to be the mother lode. Again it’s too early to see the schedule and perhaps by now I will have spent my life savings, but this looks BIG. On the other hand it’s “only” 48 events spread over two weeks. This must be just evenings and matinees I guess. This also looks like a wealthy person festival with lots of government support. So my real challenge here will be to look presentable and have that self contained bit of amused demeanor so important for high culture. I’ll have to install more mirrors at home in July to practice the look.

What could be left you ask? You’re tired of reading this and you can’t believe there’s more right? You haven’t really clicked on all the links have you (be honest!)? You haven’t looked at all the schedules and artists appearing at all these festivals… have you?? See… that’s what I’m talking about. This is work kiddos. Don’t fool yourselves; this takes dedication and stamina. How about planning, huh? Complexity, logistics, health issues, safety which comes first as you all know. Ha, August was just a head-fake…. On to September!!!

September has three, possibly four festivals for me, and then I must rest… really.

Vancouver Fringe Festival – September 7 – 17  This is where people need to prove they are weird, or not “main stream” or whatever alternate thing they think is happening. I’ve been to a similar thing in Seattle so I expect the same type of crowd and scene. None-the-less there is usually great stuff to be witnessed if you can punch through the self-consciousness “fringe factor”. Ten days of fringing should properly set me in the mood for Fall.

After about a week on the Fringe this little gem pops up

Vancouver Student Film Festival 2006 – September 15th and 16th.  I’d like to go but we’ll see since I might have to hit the road for this next festival. And they haven’t announced yet what films are showing.

Can you believe it? All this work and still I haven’t had to travel, but now the work turns out to take me on the road. I’m going to be nearly dead from eye and ear rot and now I have to travel too. Jeeez. At this point I will have nothing left, nothing. I will probably just be working off of fumes and sucking Ricola for energy (hmmmm menthol). If you see me in Seattle don’t try and talk with me because I will be an empty hollow shell. Also watch out for lit cigarettes being flicked aimlessly.

Decibel Festival (in Seattle). Sept 14- 17. When going to festivals was fun and not the grueling professional chore it is now this was a good ride. This one runs the gamut from sitting in an auditorium listening to talking heads to the club scene in the wee hours. I’ll be the guy in the backpack and the dark circles under the eyes. I may be getting too old for this…

Finally we reach the END. One last thing to do and then off to bed. If I survive all of this summer then this last one will loosen me up and prepare me for the gruesome northwest winter.

Vancouver International Comedy Festival Sept 18 – 24th. That’s right. Decibel ends on the 17th and I have to hightail it back to this.  I’ve actually never been to a comedy festival before so this should be novel for me. I like to laugh, honestly, and I hope this works out, because I will need to see the humor of this long grueling summer of festivals.

That’s it. If you made to the end of this blog entry then you have a feeling of 1% of my misery. But as they say: someone has to do it. And I am compelled.

Think I missed anything? Think I have to go places and see things that you demand me to? Think I can honestly take anymore? Write me if you know of more Vancouver area madness. Think you smarty pants people have to get me to the VIFF? (Sept 28th). Is there no rest for the wicked?? Ok fine! Then add the VIFF if I am still alive.

May the force be with me.



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