OBEY-OS-03-WEBWe’re deeply honoured to be hosting the legendary Chicago footwork pioneer RP Boo for the third instalment of our off-season programming. We’ve been so stoked at the enthusiasm these shows have been met with and feel like this could be the biggest one yet! This one may just sell out, so scoop up an advance ticket on our Big Cartel or head to Lost & Found (2383 Agriola St).

Local power-troop EDDY / BUDI, Dartmouth emcee Thrillah and dance floor ruler DJ Goldilocks in full effect.

Check the FB right here, friend.

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OBEY Convention X – Dates and Submissions

This Spring, OBEY Convention turns 10 years old. Once again, our annual festival will consume the coastal city of Halifax with a sonic portal comprising some of today’s most subversive and forward-thinking musical acts. Mark your calendars, friends: the dates are set for May 25th-28th, 2017.

As ever, we’re dedicated to representing a wide array of performers across genres and identities. Each year, we do our very best to find a particularly intense and potent set of acts at a local, national and international level, to be woven into a narrative that plays out all weekend long at alternative and historic sites across the city.

If you’re interested in performing at our 2017 edition, you’re more than welcome to apply:

Send an e-mail with the subject line ‘Submission – (Artist Name) @ OBEY Convention 2017’. In the e-mail include a few links to your web presence. Recent releases/activities are best. What impresses us most is good quality video footage of recent live performances, though it’s not essential. Whatever you feel best represents your current practice is what we want to see. 

E-mails can be sent to andrew@obeyconvention.com


Please help us spread word of the upcoming portal. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you this Spring!



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OBEY-2016-IconNovember 20, 2016

 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,

Lucia Stephen

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!  

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Tashi Dorji

As you may have heard, we’ve decided not to hibernate this year: we’re presenting our first ever Off-Season Programme, which means you’ll be able to keep your ears sharp and your spirits invigorated all winter long.

Starting November 19th we’re bringing five gnarly, forward-thinking artists to Halifax to expand the minds of the curious. The season is designed to introduce new sounds into the local soundscape while also offering insight into where those sounds originate, and where they may be headed next. Each artist will be performing a ticketed show coupled with a free-to-the-public artist talk or workshop.

First up is the ear-tangling improv guitarist Tashi Dorji (Asheville, NC) exploring the contours of the Khyber Centre for the Arts on November 19th. On January 14th, we’re presenting disruptive sound-harsher James Hoff (New York, NY) at a special late-nite engagement in the Garrison Brewery. February 25th is the deep winter jump off: legendary footwork producer RP Boo (Chicago, IL) will be rippin’ it up live and direct at Menz Bar. Finally, on April 15th, concert pianist Vicky Chow and composer/sound artist Tristan Perich (New York, NY) will be gracing us with an epic, evening length piece at the Maritime Conservatory.

If you’re interested and excited by what we do, please consider becoming a member of The OBEY Convention Society! We’ve designed a few packages that get you access to our events, plus a few sweet perks and invites.

We hope you’ll join us over the winter to celebrate and explore new ideas in sound.



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Poster by Aaron Mangle

Poster by Aaron Mangle

As OBEY Convention prepares for its tenth anniversary this coming spring, we’re excited to announce that our programming will be expanding; growing a little older, and a little wiser. Starting in November of 2016 we’ll be hosting an off-season programme that’ll see innovative artists coming from across North America to present their work here in Halifax. We’ve invited a wide range of artist who we feel have pushed modern composition forward, opening ears to new sonic territories.

To kick things off and to help support the programme, we’ve enlisted some of our closest friends for a fundraiser event. On Saturday, November 5th, we’re throwing down a double-vision quest at the Khyber ICA and Art Bar +Projects, featuring the performative debut of gBloo-bies (Hannah Guinan & Co.), the dimensional folk sounds of Husband & Knife and Chik White, slippergaze godmothers Not You, and industro-punks Dri Hiev and Commodifier. Rounding out the ambience will be DJ Jessssse, and projectionist Cale Bradbury.

We’ll be announcing the details of the off-season programme at the show, as well as launching a new membership platform. If you believe in what we do, please consider coming out and showing some love. We’ve got a big year coming up, and your support means so much to us. Hope to see you there!

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COLOUR250OBEY Convention IX is here. If you’ve yet to familiarize yourself with our program, visit our site to see what’s in store. Headliners such as experimental rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco, NYC punk-honkers Zs, Berlin’s wall-of-doom duo Nadja, Montreal’s cold techno master Marie Davidson, and so many more perform at some of Halifax’s most iconic venues over the next four days.

Beyond the concerts, we also bring you Art In Fest, the Khyber’s standalone arts festival, and EverySeeker Symposium, a new lecture series presented in conjunction with the Fountain School of Performing Arts. These extra-curriculars, we’re happy to report, are free-to-attend. Yes, everyone can be involved.

Festival weekend is always a whirlwind of inspiration, delirium, contemplation, and exhaustion. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Please be kind and patient with each other, our volunteers, the venues, and the city.

And check below for some housekeeping.


Tickets & Passes – Pickup & Purchase
Have your name on a pass yet? We have very few remaining. Grab one online here or visit Ticket Halifax at 2309 Maynard St. Single tickets for select shows are available online here. You can also grab them from Lost & Found at 2383 Agricola St or Ticket Halifax.

If you’ve purchased a pass already, it can be picked up at the Khyber from noon until 6pm Thursday. If that doesn’t work, you can simply grab it at the door of any show. Bring your ticket and ID. We’ll slap you with a bracelet.

Under 19 Free
If capacity allows, persons under 19 will be admitted free to all unlicensed events. Bring a current school or government photo ID to the door of any show to take advantage of this offer. There may be a wait. You may be turned away. We make no promises. But we’ll do our best. To avoid uncertainty, RSVP 24hrs in advance to kat@obeyconvention.com.

Schedule and Program
Download our program here. A posh print version is also available for free at shops around town. Our schedule is online here. Licensed events are indicated with a “+19”.  Free events are listed. We’ve also included the full schedule for both Art In Fest and EverySeeker Symposium. There’s something for everyone. Check it out.

Drone Day
OBEY Convention IX falls on Weird Canada’s National Drone Day. It’s a day in which sound makers from across Canada and beyond participate in a unifying exercise of sonic endurance and mediation. For the first time ever, all these performances will be brought together, in real time, to form a single day-long drone. Composer Robert Drisdelle will be creating this piece of music using live streams from across the country. And we’ll have a crew broadcasting his work at various locations around Halifax. Follow the hashtag #droneday to find them. We also encourage YOU to play the drone as loud as you can, from where ever can. Go to droneday.org after 2pm AST to find the feed. The #droneday hashtag is yours as well.


Okay, that’s it.


It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge the generous support of
Department of Canadian Heritage, Arts Nova Scotia, HALIFAX, and The Fountain School of Performing Arts. 

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new-musicAccessibility has always been an important part of OBEY Convention. We do our absolute best to work with friendly people, to host shows in safe, inclusive spaces and to keep our ticket prices as affordable. This year, we’ve expanded this idea to make the fest as accessible as possible to the next generation. Which is to say: all of our non-licensed events this year (totalling about 75% of our programming) will be free to people under 19 years of age.

An oft overlooked chasm exists in social city life between the ‘young’ and ‘old’, and this gesture is the best thing we could think of as a way to address the issue. We have so much to learn from one another and, at OBEY HQ, we hope that our festival is nothing if not a platform for shared learning and discovery. Maybe we’re just getting old and going soft, but we remember the mind-blowing shows of our collective youths as real life-changing events.

With that in mind, we’d like to highlight a few shows that may appeal to the youngins:

Our ‘Opening Remarks’ with sound poet Kaie Kellough at Halifax Central Library is sure to rearrange any preconceptions of poetry as something only dead people did. Further to that, you’ll get a peek at what a higher education can do as Dalhousie’s James Duff explores the outer limits of modern composition with a unique festival overture.

Montreal’s Lungbutter and Dartmouth’s Alienation ripping it up streetstyle Friday evening at Halifax North Library
is sure to inspire you to start a gnarly band of your own. Then there’s Zs, New York’s premier avant-rock band at The Deep Water Church later that night. The wild energies and sheer prowess at this show will rattle you to the core. Every year at OBEY there’s a show that no one talks about beforehand, and no one can forget afterwards. This is it. This is the one.

Saturday afternoon brings Everyseeker Symposium to the forefront, a series of enlightening talks and workshops exploring the inner workings of sound and culture hosted by the fine people of the AGNS. Then you can let all that new knowledge and awareness seep back out into the ether as you’re lulled into the cosmos by spiritual jazzer Joshua Abrams and his Natural Information Society holding space at The Deep Water Church.

If you’re still standing come Sunday, we’ve planned an afternoon jambo with some of our favorite locals alongside Montreal’s elusive soft-poppers Brave Radar at Seven Bays Bouldering.

And lastly, the final hour: Sunday evening at Fort Massey Church. This one’s a real cloud in trousers: analogue synth conjurer Sarah Davachi and East Coast dreamcatcher Lindsay Dobbin. It’s the kind of event that let’s you curl up beside your grandmamère and remember what it’s like to be everything and nothing all at once.

Prepare for transcendence, young sage.

And remember: capacity is limited, so if you’re keen, be sure to RSVP with our ticket guru, Kat (kat@obeyconvention.com) 24 hours before a given show. And make sure to bring a current school or government photo ID along for the trip.

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ontheroadAs you prepare to ascend into the portal that is OBEY Convention, you may be wondering: Where will I eat? Is there coffee nearby? How will I quench my undying thirst? Who’s got the freshest spring duds in town? Where the deep cut wax at? Why is it called OBEY Convention? Isn’t that whole city destined to slip into the ocean eventually? Do they even have cell reception in such a craggy outpost?

Answers to most of these questions can be found below.



EDNA Restaurant – Easily the finest local fare. Beautiful atmosphere. Oysters anyone?
Dee Dee’s – Burritos on the cheap. Homemade ice cream and all around adorability.
The Canteen – Take the ferry to Dartmouth and eat the best sandwich/salad combo you’ve ever had.
Ace Burger – Killer patties and fries served in two legendary locations: Gus’ Pub & Little Casino, and Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs.
Salvatore’s Pizza – Real traditional-like pizza in the Deep North. A classic.
enVie – Righteously delicious vegan fare.
Mary’s Place 1 and 2 – This is where breakfast happens, all day, all the time. Your pals are already there.
Coastal Cafe – Indulgent brunch and breakfast done really, really right. Limited seating, early hours.
Song’s Korean – A no brainer. Quinpool’s oasis of deliciousness. The house special soup is epic.
9+Nine Chinese Cuisine – Drive all the way to Clayton Park. Do not pass Go. Do not miss a show. Get wicked authentic Chinese fare in a tucked-away strip mall.
Seven Bays Bouldering – Have a light lunch, drink a draft, climb a wall. Not necessarily in that order.
Mid-East Food Centre – Right at the nexus of Agricola + North. Garlic, parsley, beans, souvlaki. Quick + Cheap.
ASAP Rocky’s Filipino Buffet – That’s right. The original ASAP Rocky. An $11 all-you-can-eat buffet served weekdays at lunchtime and a late night street meat cart on weekends. In the heart of our weird ‘downtown’.
John’s Lunch – This is the deepest cut. Seafood fried up by hairy-armed men in a tiny shack on the outskirts of Dartmouth. It’s proximity to Value Village means you can make a day of it.

Saturday Morning Market Musts:

Dragon Pad Thai – Pro tip: Best Pad Thai In The City, Saturday mornings only until 1pm at the Historic Brewery Market.
Selwood Green – Halifax’s first farm to table restaurant run by the tallest, friendliest german man, Norbert. This is total purity. It will save you. Plus, this sucker is open seven days a week!
Mary’s African Cuisine – The $10 super sampler plate will fill you. FOREVER.
Boulangerie La Vendéenne – Sweet, sweet french breads.


Garrison – One of the oldest and most creative micro breweries in the city. Drink it up all weekend.
Field Guide – Innovative small plates to share. Totally ballin’ cocktails and swoon-worthy waitstaff
Stillwell – The beer place with all the good beers, y’know? Also: snacks. There will be snacks.
Charlie’s Club – A local staple of strange encounters. Pool tables, a jukebox somehow featuring The Fall, odd stragglers. The code to get in is the civic address. Good luck.
Superstar Bar – Private-room karaoke anyone? It’s like partying in those suburban teenage basements of your youth. And they have dumplings too, but you might have to be insistent in your ordering of them.
The Khyber – Festival HQ with art and license.


Java Blend – For the morningtimes, you gentle beast. Pull that thorn from your paw. Awake, awake!
Trident Cafe – The gem of the South End. Grab a coffee, peruse the stacks of used books.
Lion & Bright – Bring a laptop, send us an e-mail about how you’re feeling. Oh, and they have nice food, too. Also, lastly, a place for nighttime drinks (which you can enjoy equally in the daytimes, capiche?)
Smiling Goat – Top notch downtown-type coffee. Real premium.


Lost & Found – Just all the things you could ever want. Wins ‘best in-store music’ every damn day.
One Block Barbershop – Get a cut, have a soda, spin a yarn. A most accommodating, friendly joint.
Obsolete Records – Loads of new vinyl. Go there and learn obscure facts about Michael Gira, or purchase an obscure Madlib-related release no one else would consider stocking.
Taz Records – The emporium of wax. You never know what you’ll find. Deep, deep oceans of sound and culture.
Big Pony – A fun store for fun people with rad clothes, accessories and art. Fun people only, thanks!
Elsie’s – Vintage royalty. Tasty fashion. Oh the splendour!
Bookmark – Independent, locally owned bookstore with the nicest people inside. Just in case you’re dying to read some Elena Ferrante while you’re in town.
Courtside Sneakers – For the weary traveler, a pair of ballin’ kicks.
Last Word – Deceptively piled-up bookshop owned by a talkative, knowledgeable man with a 1% gruff layer.
Atlantic News – Grab a candy bar and a fancy magazine for the long ride home, you intrepid maniac.
Strange Adventures – Comics! Comics! Nerds! Comics!
Plan B Merchants Co-op – A wide spectrum of who knows what. A real must for the curio.

Lord Nelson Hotel – It’s where all the cool kids are staying for the weekend. Historic. Beautiful. Central.
Halifax Central Library – The brand new architectural centre piece of of downtown.
CKDU – Local campus & community station and strong supporter of OBEY.
Public Gardens – One of the oldest Victorian Gardens in North America. Don’t feed the swans.
OBEY Ride Share – Finally, if you’re looking for a ride, check in here. We didn’t set it up, but it looks like a good resource.

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OBEY-HEAD-logo2-600After pouring our hearts into this work for months, today we release to you the OBEY Convention IX schedule. 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.

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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

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