Festival (506) Launches Tonight In Moncton

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Tomato/Tomato are scheduled to perform during Festival (506)

Despite being at the helm of Music New Brunswick for the last seven years, the organization’s annual celebration of both new and established artists in the province somehow always manages to sneak up on Executive Director Jean Surette.

“A year tends to pass by pretty quickly when you need to focus on lining up the acts, bringing in delegates as well as finding sponsors and volunteers to come on board. It can be challenging at times, but the festival has proven time and again to be worth it,” he says.

Formerly known as Music New Brunswick Week, Surette said the decision to rebrand the festival as Festival (506) was a bid to unify the promotion of the festival under one banner, alleviating consumer confusion in the process.

“Choosing to move ahead with a complete overhaul of the branding behind the festival is something we had wanted to pursue. We found people had a hard time getting their heads around exactly what Music New Brunswick Week entailed. Festival (506) has a familiar ring to it and seems to strike a more immediate chord with the population. It seems to be an easier sell thus far.”

Rebranding the festival is just one of the changes implemented by Surette over the course of the last seven years. With the proliferation of social media in the last 10 years, it is not only musicians that have been forced to adapt to new ways to connect with their audiences.

“From an organizational standpoint, we have strived to make it easy for the public as well as the artists to engage with us. We are looking to build a sense of community both online and offline,” Surette says.

The name behind the celebration of homegrown provincial talent isn’t the only thing that is new this year. Unlike the bulk of music industry award ceremonies which typically cap off celebrations such as Festival (506), the festival will instead kick off with the presentation of more than two dozen awards to industry and artists alike.

The awards will be presented at the Tide & Boar Ballroom on Thursday evening.

Once the awards have been given out, Festival (506) will play host to more than a dozen music industry conferences that will take place over the duration of the festival.

And of course, what would Festival (506) be without music? Friday and Saturday evenings stand to be a music lover’s dream come true in several of Metro Moncton’s venues, boasting more than 35 of the province’s best acts.

Among those scheduled to perform are Caroline Savoie, The BackYard Devils, The Cauldron Project, Joey Robin Haché, Tomato/Tomato, The Kendra Gale Band, Earthbound Trio, and FM Berlin.

Surette notes that, for the first time, the festival will be hosting dedicated hip-hop stage as well as a conference and show specifically geared towards the province’s youth.

“This will be the first time that we have reached out to musicians between the ages of 13 and 18, and put a showcase together especially for them. A total of six artists and bands will be playing on Saturday evening, but we have also taken the initiative to pair many of them up with people in the music industry who can serve as mentors for them. We want to engage this demographic and help give them a glimpse of how the industry works,” Surette says.

“The hip-hop stage is something we are really excited to be hosting this year. In addition to featuring hip-hop artists, we want to help bridge a connection between the industry and the DJs in the province, to help connect them with those who have experience in the realm of mixed tapes and how to go about getting your music heard.”

What: Festival (506)
When: Thursday Oct. 15 through Saturday Oct. 17
Where: Various venues throughout Moncton
Tickets may be purchased at each show and online at musicnb.org

Friday Oct. 16

Empress Theatre – Robinson Court, Downtown Moncton – $13.50 – 7:30 p.m.

Songwriters Circle featuring Shaun Leblanc, Caroline Savoie, Jared Lutes, Paula Tozer, and Raphael Butler

Aberdeen Cultural Centre – 140 Bostford St., Moncton – $10 – 9 p.m.

Hip-Hop Stage featuring Ro$h, The Cauldron Project, Phakt, City Natives, and Kam Speech with special guests J BRU, Quake and DJ Disspare

Tide & Boar Ballroom – 700 Main St., Moncton – $10 – 10 p.m.

Indie Rock Stage featuring Les Hotesses d’Hilaire, Motherhood, In Abstraction, Bad People, and Little You, Little Me

Plan b Lounge – 212 St. George St., Moncton – $10 – 10 p.m.

Riffs and Chansons Stage featuring Tyler Hache, Kevin McIntyre, Eastcoast Love Story, David In The Dark, and Danger Cat

Saturday Oct. 17

Aberdeen Cultural Centre – 140 Bostford St., Moncton – $10 – 7:30 p.m.

Songs and Chasonniers Stage featuring Sandra Le Couteur, Cédric Veino, Joey Robin Haché, and Jessica Rhaye

Empress Theatre – Robinson Court, Downtown Moncton – Free – 7:30 p.m.

Youth Stage featuring Réforme, Molly Kilpatrick, Valérie Gionet, Cameron Molly, Grouvi, and Zack Lane

Tide & Boar Ballroom – 700 Main St., Moncton – $10 – 10 p.m.

Folk n Roll Stage featuring The BackYard Devils, Tomato/Tomato, Cy, and Earthbound Trio

Plan b Lounge – 212 St. George St., Moncton – $10 – 10 p.m.

Indie Rock and Blues Stage featuring FM Berlin, The Kendra Gale Band, The Terry Whalen Band, and The Waking Nights