photo_guide1Over the next couple days we will be stocking sponsors and other local shops with our official 2014 festival guide. These beautiful guides were designed by Meg Yoshida with cover art provided by Seth Smith. The stellar print job was provided by Cansel Wade. This physical version is limited to 1000 copies, so get yours soon. A downloadable version is available here. Study up!

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artinfestI am honoured to play a part in the inaugural installment of Art In Fest, a standalone festival of contemporary art presented by the OBEY Convention and the Khyber Centre for the Arts. It has been a privilege to program the festival in complement to the OBEY Convention’s spirit of innovation and experimentation. Art In Fest represents a new platform for the exhibition of contemporary art in Halifax by both local and national artists. We hope that in the years to come the festival will provide an annual influx of contemporary art and will serve to engage audiences through the definition of new realities, the subversion of expectations and the description of new forms.

This year’s participating artists work across disciplines, exploring the limits of human experience through sound, video, sculpture, photography and print media. Chris Myhr’s audio installation Approaches to Erg explores how aural experience and perception are shaped by approaches to listening, conjuring a sense of the great history of nautical disaster contained in the deep waters surrounding our port city. Deirdre Logue’s video series Enlightened Nonsense directs performative self-portraiture towards the viewer, creating an empathetic itch through works which are expressly personal, emotional and political, capturing gesture, duration and the body as both subject and object.

In addition to the participation of our visiting artists, this first year also includes work shown by emerging local artists whose engaging and enriching work evinces an exciting new vernacular of visual language.

I am excited to pose the work of the artists of Art In Fest in conjunction with the events of the OBEY Convention and expand the potential for creative discovery this Spring

See you out there!

Robyn Mitchell,
Art In Fest Director

For more information on these artists and to view the full schedule, visit

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In an attempt to give you some insight into the minds of the fine people taking part in this year’s festival, we put together a survey for our artists to fill out. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting the results regularly. Up first is Dave Burns, one part of Halifax’s non-hierarchical, lo-fi rock outfit Surveillance:


Are you really from Halifax? Like, really?

I’m from Bobcaygeon, Ontario, famous for the Tragically Hip song of the same name.

Would you describe yourself as an obedient person? Can you unpack that a little?

If by obedient you mean I sit like a dog and come when I’m called then to a certain extent yes. It takes a lot of guts and sacrifice to break the chain of command that we’re all forced to live with, and doing so means giving up a lot of stuff that makes life tolerable like family and friendship. Disobedience means isolation.

What’s it like to make art in Halifax?

Halifax is a beautiful yet deeply troubled place, and despite some of the great artists and organizers that work here the arts scene is as racially segregated as the city itself. Within that there’s the socially hostile youth culture that breeds homogeneity and revels in its own weak accomplishments. If you can get past the anxiety that everything you do is going to contribute to that faceless beast then there’s no shortage of inspiration. Living on the ocean is nice too.

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photo 1Yes friends, OBEY Convention VII is less than three weeks away! First of all, we would like to thank all of you who bought passes and tickets in advance. You will not be disappointed. OBEY Convention VII will be our most sublime festival installment ever. We are so glad that you will be joining us for this special time in Halifax.

Passes are now getting close to sold out. So if you have put off grabbing one, please act soon. Single tickets are moving quickly too. Sadly, we turn many people away at the door each year, so get yourself setup in advance. Both tickets and passes are now available for cash purchase at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.) and online here.

Keep an eye on our site over the next few weeks for features on special projects and guests. And spend some time on our Artists page to learn more about this year’s program. We’ll see you all soon. Thanks for the support.

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Obey VII 2014 Guide-SCHEDULE_10Apr14Halifax’s OBEY Convention is today revealing its full schedule. Over the course of four days, the festival will host events at Fort Massey United Church, The Seahorse Tavern, Reflections Cabaret, The Khyber Centre for the Arts, Bus Stop Theatre, Menz Bar, Lost & Found, Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, and Spring Garden Rd. Memorial Public Library (including a free concert on the library stairs).

Select individual concert tickets are now available from Ticketfly, and festival passes are still available directly from the OBEY Convention’s online shop.

OBEY Convention’s inaugural art festival, Art In Fest, will be revealing its schedule on  May 7th.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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