Festival (506) Takes Shape

Category: music 239

Music-Musique NB (MNB) shares initial concert lineup and talks annual conference planning.


Music-Musique NB has begun to roll out news surrounding this year’s Festival (506), the provincial music industry association’s annual festival/conference slated to take place this year in Miramichi October 13-16, 2016. Last week MNB unveiled the concert lineup planned for the event’s 10th anniversary celebrations. This year’s performers include Andy Brown, City Natives, Cy and FM Berlin among many others (read the announcement here for a full list of performers).

“The planning for this year’s event is shaping up really well,” said MNB’s Dawn Després-Smyth. “We’ve encounter nothing but enthusiasm from folks in Miramichi, who are really eager for us to bring our festival to their city.”

Preparation for each edition of the association’s festival, which includes a major conference component along with annual awards celebrating New Brunswick music makers and supporters, takes a full year’s planning by MNB staff and a group of dedicated volunteers who work to celebrate the musical and cultural identity of the host region as well as artists from all corners of the province.

Eastcoast Love Story will perform during this year’s Festival (506).

“We’re working closely with our local engagement committee to make sure that we build a festival which is going to resonate with the Miramichi public,” said Després-Smyth. “Going in different cities year after year has some challenges as you can imagine. It’s important for us to engage with the venues where locals play and shape our festival to fit in with what’s already working, instead of forcing people to adapt to a model which might work elsewhere.”

Each year, organizers receive nearly 70 applications for 35 available performance slots spread out over the four-day event.

“We’re holding steady with the number of showcase applications,” said Després-Smyth, “although we did see an increase from artists from the Miramichi area, as can be expected. We have some very talented artists in New Brunswick and often the difference between those who get a showcase and those who don’t are just a few fractions of a point.”

Last year’s event was the first under the new Festival (506) branding after operating for eight years as the MNB Festival. Along with the name change came a few new additions including a new youth component for artists between 13 and 18, known as the dB Program.

Jaclyn Reinhart is another of this year’s performers confirmed for Festival (506).

“We’re hoping to get into a few schools in the Miramichi area to talk about the music industry as a career path,” said Després-Smyth. “Often, when kids think about music as a career, they think of it in terms of becoming a musician. That’s wonderful, and we certainly want to encourage that, but what is missing right now in New Brunswick is the support industry which surrounds musicians. Bookers, agents, promoters, journalists, managers, you name it. We do have some great people working right now in New Brunswick, but we need more and we need to help them grow their businesses and improve their skills.

“We might also have a few new interesting things on the conference side of things,” she said, “but we can’t talk about that just quite yet. Stay tuned.”


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