OBEY-HEAD-logo2-600After pouring our hearts into this work for months, today we release to you the OBEY Convention IX schedule. Premium concerts, with headliners such as experimental rapper Mykki Blanco, NYC’s noise-punk-jazz skronkers Zs, doom metal power couple Nadja, outer world jammers Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society, among others, minister their magic for Halifax at some of the city’s most iconic venues. Back-to-back concerts in narrative form.

Beyond the usual ceremony of OBEY Convention proper, we also bring you programmes for both Art In Fest, The Khyber’s standalone arts festival, and EverySeeker Symposium, a new lecture series presented by The Fountain School of Performing Arts and OBEY Convention.

For Art In Fest 2016, Hannah Guinan and her team at The Khyber Centre for the Arts have curated five free-to-attend happenings to take place across the four days of our festival. Featuring an international roster of artists, Art In Fest will host performances, screenings, talks, and even OBABY, a Saturday morning children’s art workshop. All events happen at Halifax’s vibrant arts hub—The Khyber and Art Bar & Cabaret Voltaire – Atlantique.

OBEY Convention IX also ushers in EverySeeker Symposium. This new series focuses on the intersection of music and other disciplines such as storytelling, psychotherapy, science and technology, dance, craft, film and more. There will be lectures at the AGNS, sound walks, and a special address at Fort Massey. EverySeeker also presents a Weird Canada Drone Day installation—a single, long-form broadcast of live drone performances from every province and territory in the country. Listen online, at our venues, in the parks, and on the streets.

To purchase passes or single tickets, visit Ticket Halifax. See you soon.

OBEY-POSTER-FINAL-WEBThe air in our coastal town has split itself open. As the light of spring stretches out, our spirits are renewed. Since the last announcement, OBEY HQ has been a rush of activity. So today, with a sense of accomplishment and eager anticipation, we reveal to you the bulk of our 2016 line-up and locations.

We’re totally psyched/terrified to say that menacing electro producer Rabit will be traveling from Texas to deliver a live set of grime-inflected horror at this year’s Convention. We’ll take you deep into a meditative trance with tongue-spoke new-agers Belave (featuring ex-Majical Cloudz Devon Welsh and Matthew E. Duffy) and invigorate your brain with Montreal’s sound-poet icon Kaie Kellough. Later in the weekend, you’ll be lulled back into your mortal body by the mesmeric tones of Canada’s premier psychoacoustic manipulator, Sarah Davachi. And when the sun is out and warming, you’ll be witness to Halifax’s breeziest art-pop royalty, Old & Weird.

We’ll also be presenting a heavy punk spectrum featuring Dartmouth’s Alienation, and Montreal’s Lungbutter and Shining Wizard (feat. Grace Brooks & James Goddard); a weird consortium of locals including Century Egg, HHH, Wayne World, eddy, Cloaked Figure, and Carmen; jazz-airs Sound Of The Mountain; Montreal’s subtle set Brave Radar. Beyond that, you can expect some extra-curriculars from William Robinson and Aaron Webster, and late-nite movements with DJ Fadzwa and DJ Kaz_Kandy. Of course, this is all in addition to the artists already announced: Mykki Blanco, Zs, Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society, Marie Davidson, Nadja, New Fries, xxvii, and Zones.

As for our locales, we’ll be returning to a venue rich with experimental music history, the Deep Water Church (formerly the North Street Church), and charting new territory by taking over Halifax’s famed Marquee Club and working with their friendly neighbours at Seven Bays Bouldering. Added to that list are some tried and true community haunts Fort Massey Church, Menz Bar, Halifax Central Library, The Khyber ICA + Cabaret Voltaire Art Bar, and more.

In the months leading up to the festival we’ll be adding a few more artists as well as releasing details about other happenings: Art In Fest, The Khyber Centre for the Arts contemporary visual arts festival; the EverySeeker Symposium, our new performative lecture series; as well as our Weird Canada national Drone Day project.

Festival Passes Available Now

JoshuaAs we drift through these final days of winter, our festival takes form. An autonomous bloom of aesthetic indulgence and irreverence. It’s growing. The details are locking-up. We’ll be able to announce the entire lineup before the end of the month. There may be a pre-festival event as well. So hold tight. To ease your wait, today we’ve decided to offer up just a taste. A couple sweet jazzers.

We’re thrilled to announce Chicago’s Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society. Fire jazz, modal music, zoned spiritualism. Jams for psychic transport. All things. Magnetoception, the band’s latest full length, is easily one of the most exciting jazz albums of the decade. It made best of the year lists on Pitchfork, The Wire, Magnet Magazine and more. Abrams and co. remind us that jazz can indeed be of another dimension.

From a world-renowned trio to a duo of local leaders — OBEY Convention is grateful to nab xxvii for their inaugural festival performance. Consisting of man-about-town sax and keys lightening rod Nick Dourado and recent Juno nominee Andrew MacKelvie, xxvii, like Abrams, swim the cosmic seas of spirit jazz. For us, they’re one of the most exciting projects in Halifax right now.

Also be sure to spend time with the artists we listed last month — Mykki Blanco, Zs, Nadja, Marie Davidson, and New Fries. We’ll announce the full lineup, over 20 more acts, by the end of March. And we’ll tell you about EverySeeker Symposium and Art In Fest in April.

EARLY BIRD PASSES are clearing out but remain available.

mykki-thumbSpring in Nova Scotia awakens with the ninth installment of Atlantic Canada’s premier festival of free ideas in music and art, the OBEY Convention. Taking place in the city’s parks, churches, libraries, concert halls and night clubs, this year’s festival promises to be our boldest.

Over the course of four days, we will host ten main events alongside multiple free-to-attend happenings. There will be concerts, artist talks, a bell walk, installations, workshops, a multi-city collaboration with Weird Canada’s Drone Day and so much more. Getting everyone involved is important to us. So besides offering a portion of our programme to the public at no cost, for the first time ever, we will be making ALL unlicensed events free to folks under 19. That’s just one new initiative of many.

As always, the festival will host an eclectic mix of local, national, and international artists. To pique your interest, here are just five to consider: underground rap and performance artist Mykki Blanco; New York’s renowned avant-jazz futurists, Zs; Montreal’s bright light in dark minimal wave, Marie Davidson; Berlin’s transcendental metal droners, Nadja; and New Fries, the angular noise-punk heroes of Toronto’s weirdside scene.

Over two dozen more artists will be announced in March. We’ll also bring you info on The Khyber Centre for the Arts standalone visual art festival, Art In Fest. And we’ll tell you about EverySeeker Symposium, a brand new performative Iecture series that explores the intersection of sound and other disciplines such as craft, science, psychotherapy, storytelling, dance, and video. There’s much to look forward to at the end of May in Halifax.

A limited quantity of reasonably priced Early Bird Festival Passes are available now through Ticket Halifax.

OBEY Convention IX takes places May 26th to 29th at various venues throughout Halifax. Interested in performing? If so, email us at info@obeyconvention.com. We are looking for unique artists and concepts. Thanks for your interest and have a fine holidays.

obey-memberFirst of all, we would like to send a warm thank you to 2015′s artists, partners, volunteers, billets, and audience members. OBEY Convention VIII was a special installment. The energy and sense of community running throughout the weekend was like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Our team wrapped up the festivities feeling more inspired and motivated than ever.

So here we are. What started as a few DIY shows strung together by friends has turned into a nationally recognized festival. This journey is exciting but also comes with many challenges. Now more than ever, we need to harness the festival’s growth and build OBEY Convention into a sustainable organization, one which will be a champion of contemporary music and art in Halifax for years to come.

To this end, we feel it’s important to build a strong membership. On one hand, we need to find new streams of revenue in order to keep up with the increasing demands of running an active non-profit. But we also want to implant ourselves more directly into the fabric of Halifax. We want to build a foundation of community support and have direct access to the people invested in our success.

If you would like to see OBEY Convention exist well into the future, please consider becoming a member. The packages are priced reasonably and offer many incentives, including discounts and full festival passes. If you have any questions, shoot us an email.

Together we can make Nova Scotia a thriving centre for the arts. Thanks so much for your support.



Welcome to OBEY Convention VIII. In the coming days Halifax will play host to musicians from across Canada, the USA, and beyond. There will be displays of virtuosity, both blissful and punishing explorations in electronics, late night punk damage, and waves of ambient drone. We also have a slew of DJs, tightly curated interlude music, video installations, floral adornments, and even a festival beer by Garrison. We truly believe there is something for each and every one of you this year.

Besides our main concerts, we also offer a number of free events, including a noisy affair outside Memorial North Library on Friday and a blissful afternoon of poetry and harmonium on Sunday at Common Roots Urban Farm. There will be workshops, discussions, pop-up shows, spoken word performances, and, of course, the Khyber’s standalone visual art festival, Art In Fest.

Passes are now SOLD OUT. Single tickets are still available for select shows.

Since things get a little chaotic during the weekend, we thought it would be best to go over a few logistical details here. If you have any questions during the festival, just say howdy to one of us or shoot off an email. Okay, we’ll see you soon.

Passes Pick-up and Usage
Pass bracelets can be picked up at The Khyber Centre for the Arts starting Thursday at 11am or at the door of any festival event. Please bring ID. Paid passes guarantee admission to all events. That being said, please be patient with our volunteers and try to arrive early, if possible. Some of the venues are quite small, so dealing with capacity will require finesse from or door personnel. Let’s all work together! Comp passes—artists, volunteers, etc—are capacity based. There are a lot of these passes! We usually do quite well at getting most of you inside, but again, show up early at the smaller venues. Passes are non-transferable.

Khyber Lounge (5521 Cornwallis St.)
Our friends at the Khyber will be opening their doors to festival goers and weary souls alike. Need a place to replenish your spirit and have a snack? The artist-run centre will be hosting an all-ages crash pad and snack club, a 19+ cash-only dive bar, as well as a gnarly installation from local artist Emily Pelstring, Standard Play. They will also be selling OBEY Convention Music and Arts Society memberships throughout the weekend. May 21-23, 11am-6pm (bar 1pm-6pm)

Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.)
Our friends at Lost & Found are the exclusive brick-and-mortar retailer for our tickets and passes. They are also rife with festival guides for both OBEY Convention and Art In Fest. And it’s just a rad store, so drop by. Tickets and passes are also available online and at the door of select events.

Visiting Halifax?
Nice to meet you. If you are looking for a nourishing meal, check our Field Guide or Edna. Shopping for records? Hit up Obsolete or Taz. Need a place to crash? The Westin is nice. For a bed on the cheap, check out Alter Egos. Comics and collectables can be found at Strange Adventures. Java Blend, Two If by Sea, and The Trident have the best coffee in town. And for no cost activities, stroll through the Public Gardens or Point Pleasant Park, visit our new Central Library (our festival kicks off there with Peter Brotzmann and Jerry Granelli on Thursday), or head out to Lawrencetown Beach. Have the best time and thanks for visiting.

O•VIII from Seth Smith on Vimeo.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we regret to inform you that Omar Souleyman will be unable to perform at this year’s OBEY Convention. All tickets purchased online will be fully refunded early next week. Those of you who purchased festival passes at full value (after early bird pricing) will receive a partial refund at some point in the next few days.

The show will go on, but we’re moving to 10pm at Menz and Mollyz Bar (2182 Gottingen St). The revised lineup will consist of Absolutely Free, Petra Glynt (just added), Love Thy Will Be Done, and DJ Fadzwa.

Sorry for any inconvenience.
Despite this unfortunate circumstance, we remain steadfast and looking forward.


Team OBEY Convention

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The season is upon us. OBEY Convention VIII gets underway is less than 3 weeks. Artists will soon be traveling to Halifax from all over for our annual celebration of contemporary music and art. If you haven’t perused our lineup yet, do it now. Our 2015 installment covers a wide array of sonic bemusement. We offer you world-class jazz, Syrian wedding music, industrial techno, new age classical, chamber drone, various flavors of avant-guitar music, dreamy electronics and so much more.

For those not yet prepared for the weekend, know that passes and single tickets are now available for purchase from our friends at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St., Halifax). Of course, online purchase is still available as well. TICKETS | PASSES

Please keep in mind that we have a limited number of full weekend passes still available. We’ve already sold more than last year’s total, so there’s a possibility we’ll have to take these off sale at some point. So act fast. If you have purchased a pass, thank you so much. You will be able to pick up your bracelet on opening day at either Lost & Found or the door of any event. Just bring along your ID.

Okay, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as they happen. We have a number of exciting developments in the works, including a “promotional” video by Seth Smith (see screenshot above), concert installations by James Gauvreau, live streaming of select events by CKDU, Khyber Festival Lounge details, a full Art In Fest lineup, and more. See you soon.

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