The coolest addition to Saint John’s arts and music community stake claim with August programming announcement.
After testing the waters in April, the organizers behind Saint John’s Quality Block Party have announced plans to return with a second round of programming August 10-13, 2017, with plans to move forward with two events annually.
Joining the ranks of established alternative arts and music festivals like that of Sappyfest and Fredericton’s Flourish Festival, QBP are helping to further develop the province’s growing network of intimate festival offerings while putting their own distinct spin on the idea.
“The August event is filling the weekend that for four years was Shifty Bits Circus in Fredericton,” said QBP organizer Abigail Smith. “The advantage of being close to Flourish and Sappyfest is just that, to bring people out to the Maritimes and have consistent spring/summer programming. Additionally, building an 18 week model of festival planning allows us to get creative and represent our brand really visibly.”
Saint John’s uptown is the perfect location for a multi-venue festival. With so many unique performance spaces offering countless possibilities to event planners, there really is no other place like it in the province and the April edition of QBP provided a perfect introduction to many New Brunswick art and music lovers seeking a new festival experience.
“The Quality Block Party aims to represent on a large scale the year-round culture of music and art in Saint John,” said organizers in the July 5 announcement. “The city has undergone some dramatic changes over the last three years and we know that this is the strongest the music scene has been in a long time. Our project addresses the need of Saint John to demonstrate this by welcoming those from outside the city to witness what a supportive and creative place this is. The Quality Block Party is truly a destination festival akin to events like Sappyfest and the Halifax Pop Explosion, festivals that are intimately linked to their location.”
“The QBP is meant to harness and rep the amazing and supportive energy in Saint John and NB,” said Smith. “This couldn’t happen anywhere else and now is the perfect time to have a sustainable ongoing festival with a grassroots mindset.”
The festival’s momentum continues to spread with QBP showcases being planned for Halifax Pop Explosion, Pop Montreal, Festival 506, “and probably another in Toronto”, according to QBP organizer Peter Rowan, who helped found both the Halifax Pop Explosion and Pop Montreal.
“Personally, I’ve been party to some pretty rad things and nothing has made me happier than being part of this incredible scene,” said Rowan. “This is metaphorical version of tying a pork chop to my neck so the cool kids will hang out with me.”
Participating venues for the August edition of QBP include Locavore, Taco Pica, Five & Dime, Callahan’s, Yuk Yuk’s, Elwood’s Wood Lab, and Port City Royal with pop-up shows expected throughout the Uptown core. With more than 50 acts slated to perform, a zine & print expo and workshops in the works, it’s fair to say QBP 1.2 is set to make a lasting impression.
Quality Block Party passes are now on sale at Backstreet Records in Saint John.