24 Nov 2016 OBEY AGM President’s Report
There’s so much to celebrate! Let’s attempt an overview:
With this year’s festival (OBEY 9, 2016), Darcy and our amazing team assembled yet another provocative line-up of diverse, often under-recognized, highly talented and radical artists; built our membership base; attracted new partnerships; offered the most free, all-ages events that we’ve had to-date; received acknowledgement by Music Nova Scotia (nominated “event of the year”); established our largest Art-In-Fest to date (with thanks to Coordinator/Khyber Director/OBEY Board Member, Hannah Guinan); initiated the EverySeeker Symposium with great success (in newfound collaboration with Dalhousie University, thanks to Coordinator, Dave Ewenson); received recognition by international publication/long-time OBEY muse, The Wire; and developed an exciting off-season program, providing intermediary opportunities for all of us to tap into the spirit of OBEY, sooner, rather than later. Thank Goodness.
Now entering it’s tenth year, we bid farewell to OBEY visionary and Creative Director, Darcy Spidle, with endless respect and gratitude for his efforts, dedication and ultimately, imagination, in building this festival to what it has become–a landmark, one-of-a-kind experience in the Canadian arts and culture community––and furthermore, what I believe many would agree is one of the most (if not the most) special music festivals this country has to offer.
Comprised of a very small budget and a DIY ethos, Darcy launched OBEY in 2006 to fill a void in the Halifax music scene, to provide an opportunity for “weirdos” to congregate over unusual music and performance art and to establish a supportive platform for the “underdogs” among us. Ten years later, his vision has led OBEY to grow and grow and grow, drawing more people every year, despite many of them not knowing most of the artists on the bill, nor the non-traditional sites in which they may experience the performances, whether it may lead them to an urban farm, or alleyway, or to one of the most historic properties in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our audience is willing to trust in the unknown–a rare feat, indeed–knowing that by opening their minds they will walk away from the experience in what can only be easily described as: revitalized,
whether it be sonically,
or, all of the above.
And now we enter a new chapter, with long-standing OBEY contributors, Andrew Patterson and Kat Shubaly taking the helm, carefully curating plans for what will be OBEY’s tenth anniversary year, and continuing to build the sustainability, reach and support for this treasured festival. As Jesse Locke noted in one key piece of follow-up press following OBEY 9, “For OBEY’s 10th year and beyond, the future is in good hands.”
And it’s true. In many ways, this is the natural choice of successors for the latest iteration of OBEY, and I trust that the festival’s spirit will continue to be well-nourished as we explore this new paradigm.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this extraordinary experience.
With love and respect,
OBEY Convention President
P.S. Do you also look forward to OBEY 362 days of the year? Show your support and please consider joining/renewing as an OBEY Member to receive a series of joyous perks and to provide integral and much-appreciated assistance for our efforts!