OBEY X marks ten years of keeping things wyrd in Halifax. To honour this milestone, we’ve invited some close friends of the festival to reflect on what their experiences with us over the years have meant. This one comes care of Matt Charlton, OBEY Convention’s first official Board Chair and founder of Pigeon Row publicity.
O: Any valuable lessons you’ve taken away from OBEY?
M: Watching Darcy build the festival into an event that people trust so inherently has been amazing. I would go to some shows without knowing anything about the artists, because I knew OBEY wouldn’t steer me astray. The lesson I took from that was the value of integrity and the wisdom that hard work earns.
O: What are some of your fondest memories of OBEY past?
M: I was stage managing a show at the Khyber a few years back and we were running really late. The opening act had put us way behind. JFM was up next. I hadn’t met Jesse at that point. I was asking around, trying to figure out who he was. Finally, someone pointed him out in line grabbing a beer. I ran up and said, “We’ve gotta get this started right now.” He very calmly looked at me and said, “No problem, just go hit the green button on my board. That’ll start the music. I’ll be out soon.” I always thought that was the coolest. Some acts put endless thought and effort into planning the opening moments of their set. Jesse didn’t even care if he was around for his.
O: Any words of wisdom for people unacquainted with OBEY?
M: Find Darcy and just follow him around.
O: What are you most excited for at this year’s festival?
M: Jerry Granelli.
O: What would you like to see at OBEY Convention’s of the future?
M: More acts that I will pretend I’m cool enough to have discovered on my own.
O: Why should people care about OBEY?
M: So many festivals just pick from a swath of whatever acts have some ‘buzz’ that year. OBEY made the choice to focus in on a relatively small subset of the whole musical landscape. When you narrow your scope like that, you’re opening the door to becoming an expert rather than a generalist. I think that’s key to what makes the festival so important.