As the final thrOBEY-POSTER-7-WEB500oes of winter blow across this land and sea, we here at Atlantic Canada’s only festival of contemporary music and art for the cultural wanderer continue to work tirelessly on our coming installment. OBEY Convention VII will ride a heavy wave of freeing ideas and experiences through the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia between May 22nd and 25th. The festival will visit historic buildings, late night haunts, hidden halls, and public spaces with a collection of performances and works that challenge concepts of both what is normal and what is wyrd.

This year’s festival headliners come from across Canada, the USA, and Europe. They represent various genres and modes of musical thinking, but all of them share a penchant for performance, expression, and craft. Joining our list of already announced headliners will be world renowned ambient artist TIM HECKER (Canada), Terrible Records’ rebel-rap sensation LE1F (USA), minimal-synth darkwavers TROPIC OF CANCER (USA), pop-proggers EACH OTHER (Canada), wired-punk outfit TEENANGER (Canada), and neo-classical composer NICK STORRING (Canada). These artists join our previously announced acts—LOW (USA), JULIANNA BARWICK (USA), MAJA RATKJE (Norway), JEF BARBARA (Canada), WHITE POPPY (Canada)—and many more in a weekend that will see close to twenty non-competing, sequential events.

Part of this program will be presented by OBEY Convention’s inaugural installment of Art In Fest, a standalone festival of Canadian visual and installation works. This year’s presenting artists are DEIRDRE LOGUE, CHRIS MYHR, and ALEXIS GRISE. Openings begin on May 20th at various galleries and alternative spaces, with shows lasting throughout the weekend. For more information on Art In Fest, visit

Early Bird OBEY Convention VII passes sold out in days, but a limited number of regular priced passes are now available. These passes guarantee admission to all ticketed and pass-only events. Individual concert tickets will be available when we announce our schedule on April 10th.

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Splash-update-fixA Nova Scotian spring is salvation—a coastal playground of natural and spiritual opulence that gives life to the winter-worn soul will soon awaken. OBEY Convention VII, Atlantic Canada’s only festival of alternate realities for music and art, celebrates this year’s rejuvenating season between May 22nd and May 25th at some of the most varied and historic spaces that the city of Halifax has to offer.

To usher in the new season, we start by unveiling a few choice selections from our roster of confirmed artists. OBEY Convention VII will present one of the most spellbinding indie outfits of the last two decades LOW; sublime pop choralist JULIANNA BARWICK (USA); fashionista and dance club crooner JEF BARBARA (Canada); composer and vocal contortionist MAJA RATKJE (Norway); and new age, dub-fi healer WHITE POPPY (Canada). Twenty five other equally alluring solo artists and bands will be announced on March 27th.

2014 will also see the inaugural installment of Art In Fest, a standalone festival of visual and installation works by some of Canada’s most intriguing artists. Openings begin on May 20th at various galleries and alternative spaces, with shows lasting throughout the weekend. Further details will be announced along with the full OBEY Convention lineup later this month.

Taken together, OBEY Convention VII and Art In Fest will present nearly twenty events, more than half of them free to an all ages public. The festivals will transpire in tandem, suffusing Halifax’s beautiful downtown and vibrant North End with an outpouring of invigorating art and music by innovators from across North America and beyond. Do not miss out on this unusual and memorable artistic experience. Reasonably priced early bird passes are available now.

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

clown-head-urinalOBEY Convention VII is looking for adventurous concepts that intimately combine music and art in a bizarre live performance. Send us your ideas! We will choose at least one proposal to present as a free event at the festival between May 22nd and May 25th.

The winning performance will happen at the Bus Stop Theatre. Keep that space in mind when drafting your proposal. Besides a PA system and technician, OBEY Convention cannot provide other equipment to facilitate the performance. So keep it simple. The event will be a one hour or less stand alone show that will be free to the public. No other events will be happening at this time, so expect a decent crowd.

Other considerations

-content should be appropriate for all ages (and legal)
-there can be no risk of damage to the venue or audience
-costs should be kept to a minimum as they will not be directly compensated for by the festival
-performers are responsible for set up and tear down of production

The winning project will receive a $250 honorarium and up to three passes to the festival.

Include the following and send proposals to:

-a brief description of the project
-a list of participants
-technical requirements
-links to other work or past projects
-do not send any attachments

The deadline is March 7th. The winning proposal will be selected March 27th. Thanks so much!

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

obeygearHello Friends, it seems like as good a time as any to send out a quick update from OBEY Convention headquarters, so here we go. First of all, our dates have been announced! Get your life in order to be in Halifax next spring from May 22nd to May 25th. The festival team has been working on OBEY Convention VII since October to curate what is shaping up to be our most ambitious installment to date. Artists of all kinds will be coming to town from across North America and Europe to perform at some of Halifax’s most unique and unexpected venues. We will also offer a publication, workshops, public art and sound collaborations, artist talks, and so much more. Oh, and here’s an exciting development. This spring we will be launching ART IN FEST, an entirely new international art festival that will travel with the OBEY Convention throughout the weekend. More on all of this soon!

In other news, keep an eye on this website for our upcoming digital archive program. Yes, it seems that technical wizard Evan Cardwell has been recording OBEY Convention performances since the very early days, so in the coming months, we will begin offering select concerts for download and streaming. Broken Deer’s beautiful engagement at The Khyber last year is first on the agenda.

Also, if you are in the mood for giving, please take a look at our new donate option on the info page. It feels a bit strange to ask for a hand, but as this festival expands, so does the cost. Things are so much easier when we are not losing sleep about getting this huge thing paid for. No contribution is too small or large. Thanks so much.

Okay, it was very nice of you to pay this visit to our site. See you in Halifax next spring.

By | Uncategorized | No Comments


with Guilt & Organ Magic
Thursday, August 22nd, Bus Stop Theatre
$10 | 10pm

Tickets available online
and at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.)

After contributing to their Electric Voice II compilation in early 2013, Brooklyn, New York’s Martial Canterel has gone on to sign with Halifax’s Electric Voice imprint for multiple upcoming LPs. The Halifax, Nova Scotia label begins its Martial Canterel catalogue with a retrospective of unreleased material from 2002-2003 entitled Navigations Vol. 1. The release will be supported by a Martial Canterel tour of select cities in Eastern United States and Canada, starting with an OBEY Convention produced event in Halifax on August 22nd. Halifax showgoers will also be treated to performances by spoken word noise duo Guilt and finger-fuck-dance wizards Organ Magic. Advanced tickets are available now both online and and Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.). RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

Martial Canteral Biography
“Martial Canterel’s Sean McBride is the progenitor of American cold synth sounds of the 21st Century. He began under the moniker Moravagine before he started releasing limited edition cassettes and playing Brooklyn dives as Martial Canterel in 2002. Since then, McBride’s bleak intellectual exercises in the dark and danceable have flooded North America and Europe through the frosty fairwaves paved by Pieter Schoolwerth’s Wierd Records. With an inimitable minimal style merging… bright, urgent melodies ornamented and punctuated by the noises of industry and McBride’s sonorous, stern vocals, Martial Canterel’s recent releases (You Today, Refuge Underneath) have garnered both critical acclaim and a rapidly growing rabid fanbase. McBride’s influence can be heard in scores of bands in the Wierd cadre and beyond (he is also one half of the Weird Records duo Xeno and Oaklander). Through the collision of a uniquely humanistic means of production via live analogue synthcraft expertly paired with vocals and lyrics that reflect the pitfalls and pleasures of our age, Martial Canterel provides a visceral kick best felt on the dancefloor, amidst a flurry of flesh in motion.” Pieter Schoolsworth

Martial Canteral – Navigations Vol. 1 LP/DL (Electric Voice Records)
Martial Canterel’s Sean McBride began producing minimal dance music on analog synthesisers in 2002. His unique sound would go on to shape the cold wave/minimal-electronic movement of the last decade, but despite his influence, Sean’s work stands apart from the genres he has created. Instead of looking to any scene aesthetic, McBride has always turned inward, focusing on craft, process, and composition. Navigations Vol. 1 returns to those early days to chronicle sketches, unfinished works, and forgotten tracks. In this material we hear a pioneering artist draft the blueprint for what would become 21st century synth music.

For more information on Martial Canterel, visit:

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

As is customary here at OBEY Convention headquarters, we needed a bit of time to recover before issuing a huge THANK YOU to all our festival artists, attendees, staff, venues, volunteers, and sponsors. It was another magical year, with stellar performances and festival love flowing through and from each and every event. This was by far our most successful installment. The response truly exceeded our expectations. It was absolutely overwhelming, but we tried our very best to make the festival experience enjoyable and inspiring for all those involved. Thanks so much for your patience, enthusiasm and support. Morale at the OBEY Convention Music and Arts Society is at an all time high. Planning has already started for our off season program and for next year’s festival. If you thought OBEY Convention VI was great, just wait until next June. Rest up those ears and have a great summer.

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

drcA word from the turd…

First of all, I want to thank you all for the amazing support that you have shown the festival this year! We’ve never had such an overwhelming response leading up to opening night. Passes have been gone for more than a month, and almost half of our main shows are sold out or close to it. It means so much to us that you are as excited about these events as we are. Our crew has been working hard since late 2012 to put together this weekend. It’s incredible to believe that the day is finally here!

I want to run through a few housekeeping issues for the weekend. As I mentioned, a number of shows are sold out. Besides maybe a handful of tickets at Lost & Found, both Mac DeMarco shows and the Pissed Jeans shows are SOLD OUT. That means that no tickets will be available at the venue.

If you bought a ticket or pass, you are guaranteed admission. It would, however, be helpful to us if you could pick up your ticket in advance today at Lost & Found between noon and 6pm. We are trying our best to deal with logistics, but it will help the venues move efficiently if people have their tickets in hand at the door. If you must, you can also grab your ticket at the door. Please bring ID matching your pay pal receipt.

Also, we ask you to show respect for the venues, our volunteers and the art. These venues are special places to a lot of people. There will be large crowds in and out over the weekend, so we ask you treat the buildings and the art on the wall with a delicate touch. As for the people running OBEY, we’re going to try our best to make things go down as smoothly as possible. If there’s a lineup or mix-up, please be patient. We’re going to work it. ALL LOVE AT OBEY.

SO yeah, this is going to be an special four days!! I was going to make a staff pick list, but there isn’t an act or event in this festival that I am not wholeheartedly excited to see. Again, thank you all SO MUCH! This is a beautiful city full of wonderful people. I’m looking forward to spending these next days together. See you soon!

Darcy Spidle
Creative Director

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

matthewthoughts from the problem solving master of artist pleasure…

Matthew Samways Picks

Torso – Sunday, June 9th | 4pm | FREE
Though my interest mainly exists in the Minimal Electronic/Industrial variant – the same principles, practice and ethics are applied to Alexander “Sandy” Saunders’ harsh power electronics. The instant gratification using currents of electricity and voltage, shaping his sound live and portraying the depths of his emotions through this live event is unlike anything you will ever see from a local artist. His music is prized internationally for a reason. The raw intensity of this live performance cannot be emulated using any software or samplers – Sandy pours his heart out into machine before our eyes and it is a beautiful thing.

Grouper – Sunday, June 9th | 7:30pm | $15
Liz’s sentimental offerings through live tape manipulation, sheer and fragile guitar composition and soft, morose voice will translate perfectly after a weekend of chaos – and will be a wonderful contrast to the intensity of Torso’s performance at the Electric Voice event “Restrictions” earlier that afternoon. The bleakness that we all experience post festival will be transitioned just right this year.

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

katfrom the mind behind our ticket spreadsheets and waffle makers…

Kat Shubaly Picks

Heather Rappard Retrospective, Saturday June 8th, 1pm Public Library| FREE:
As integral to the scene as the city we stand in, like looking through a glass of water at the sounds we hear. Visionary Babe.

Broken Deer, Friday June 7th, 10 pm Khyber | $10

Eerie risings from the outskirts. Never forget the first time I heard her: Homemade tomato soup, slow gossip from the past, rain from the Bayou.

Each Other, Thursday June 6th, 8pm One Block Barbershop | $8
No trick ponies here; cool, collected. Welcome back home away from home. When’d you all get so tall?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Patterson Press PhotoWe asked the folks who put together the OBEY Convention to tell us what they are most looking forward in the coming weekend. We’ll post these in the next few days.

from the elusive logistics wrestler and poet blogger…

Andrew Patterson Picks

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Or maybe it’s because I’m quite sure I’ll be running around like a headless chicken all festival long and will be grateful for a little assuagement. This year, I’m really looking forward to the calmest, quietest shows of the festival.


Have you had opportunity to walk around Common Roots farm? It’s easy to miss. It sits unassumingly atop a weird kind of nexus of the peninsula, a classic Halifax cluster fuck intersection at Quinpool and Robie. The last time I passed nearby, knowing that this event was scheduled, I decided to take a stroll up the cresting hill and check out the site. It’s an amazing oasis of sanity at the heart of the urban core. A beautiful gazebo, welcoming benches, rows of sprouting veggies and a surprising quietude. It’s the perfect site for such sonic explorations.

Leading the journey is JOURNEYS, natch. A supergroop of sonic manipulators, JOURNEYS features the heavy fuzz Double Vision Quest, the vital pulses of JFM and the shamanic wisdom of Broken Deer.

Then you got Tim ‘2 Talented’ Crabtree, who’ll be taking a breather after a Canadian/European tour with his incredibly accomplished chamber-folk project to drop some equally mesmerizing instrumentals.

AND FOOD WOLF? Holy shit. I can taste the hangover-friendly Kimchi Hotdog already.


For me, Grouper is a no-brainer. I was totally gutted to miss her last show in Halifax and feel so lucky to get another chance. Also, regarding guts, she has a song titled ‘Fishing Bird (Empty Gutted In The Evening Breeze)’, which is absolutely the best description of her music for the uninitiated. Get hungry.

I’m also really excited for Kyle Bobby Dunn. I’ve had very few chances to witness real-deal drone music in a live setting, and seeing someone of such calibre is sure to be a transcendent experience. A church setting is perfect for this kind of stuff and I think Sunday-night-time will be the right time to unwind with the shifting, expansive sounds of this neo-classical mastermind.

By | Uncategorized | One Comment