Halifax Pop Explosion
Running from October 18th to 22nd this year "HPX" is the Halifax Pop Explosion, an international music festival and conference that presents 150 bands in 18 venues over 5-days to over 17,000 fans and industry delegates from around the world.
The first Halifax Pop Explosion was held in September 1993 and was the brain child of Halifax music impresario Peter Rowan and legendary Halifax promoter Greg Clark. Greg bowed out after the first year to focus on the Birdland Cabaret, and the festival continued to grow with the assistance of artist manager Angie Fenwick, and later with the help of Shelly McPhail. This internationally acclaimed festival drew accolades in Halifax, Canada and around the world.
Circumstances dictated that the festival be relaunched in 1996 as Halifax On Music. The festival operated for a further four years, improving on the concept, and drawing further national and international interest. The festival became a pivotal event on the east coast and a centerpiece and celebration for the music community in Halifax and the Maritimes. Operated by Angie Fenwick, Cinnamon Toast and Murderecords kingpin Colin MacKenzie, fellow Murderecords employee Marc Brown and No Records founder Waye Mason, the Festival ran successfully for the remainder of the 90’s. However, the volunteer based, no profit, no sleep, unsung glory model put a lot of stress on the principle organizers, and in 2000 no festival was held.
The Halifax Pop Explosion was re-launched in 2001 under the original name by Waye Mason as a not-for-profit Association. While a cast of hundreds supports the presentation of the festival every year, mentions need to be made of the standout support of past volunteers and/or Board members Melissa Buote, Sara Spike, Steve Lutwick, Ben Pearlman, Chris Parsons and Kasia Weiczorek. These are all people who know what it is like to work 20 hours a day for a week, knowing the main thing you have to look forward to is a crippling headcold the week after the festival is over.
The festival re-established itself as one of Canada’s most important musical events, with an impact felt around the world.
With about one hundred and fifty bands in almost two dozen venues, as well as the HPX Inspired Conference, Halifax Zine and Label Fair, the Halifax Pop Explosion continues to reach a diverse audience and provides considerable exposure for new and innovative talent in genres from hip hop to punk, from folk to indie rock.
Visit halifaxpopexplosion.com for full details of this year's festival.