Mud City Meltdown Enters Second Year With Impressive Lineup

Photo by Paul Hillier
The Cybertronic Spree perform at the Mud City Meltdown on Thursday evening. Photo by Paul Hillier.

As the Mud City Meltdown prepares to launch its second edition, festival organizer Xavier Leger knows the music festival is up against some lofty expectations.

The festival’s inaugural edition left an impressive mark upon Moncton and the Maritimes in general. While some may have quietly wondered whether the region could support another music-oriented festival, audiences proved there was in fact a significant demand for quality shows.

Judging by the lineup of this year’s festival, which boasts headliners including Matt Mays, The Cybertronic Spree, Joseph Edgar, The Jimmy Swift Band, and Outtacontroller, music fans will indeed have something to celebrate.

“Interest in the festival was good last year,” Leger begins. “The Voivod show was a big turning point for us, in terms of getting the festival name out there and having people recognize what we are doing.”

Leger acknowledges a significant part of growing the festival’s fan base is diversifying the acts being featured. Although the festival could have potentially played it safe by offering a virtual repeat of last year’s shows, Leger says such a plan of attack wouldn’t have helped the event grow.

“In terms of headliners this year, we are definitely going after a bit of a different audience. Reaching a broader market is essential to ensure the festival’s longevity. At the same token, however, there is going to be some crossover as well. I’m confident the festival will reach new people while still appealing to those that may have attended shows last year.”

Although some festival organizers might have been tempted to go whole hog with booking big-name acts for this year’s edition in order to capitalize on the momentum gained last year, Leger declares that Mud City Meltdown is more interested in taking baby steps towards attracting bigger names performing in larger venues.

“For all intents and purposes, Mud City Meltdown is still very much a new festival, both in terms of budgetary constraints as well as getting the name out there. We’re wary of getting too big too quickly. Ensuring this year’s festival maintained the same vibe and element as last year was important for all concerned.”

Among the chief differences greeting festivalgoers this year is the addition of the Aberdeen Cultural Centre as a venue, which has in turn allowed the festival to expand upon its Francophone programming.

“Offering a slate of programming that fits Moncton’s bilingual market is critically important to us. Having the Aberdeen Cultural Centre come on board as a venue this year is a big win for the festival, which has allowed us to add another main stage to our offering,” Leger says.

“That is really what it is all about at this point in the festival’s growth: We want to build fruitful, healthy relationships with venues in the city and create partnerships that are strong.”

Leger insists building strong relationships with bands and booking agents is also a critical piece of the festival’s puzzle. While the festival did solicit interest from some American acts about playing the Mud City Meltdown, organizers know that in order to solicit bigger name acts, it has to continue selling both the festival and the city as being eager and open to both new and established acts.

“It can be a challenge to attract headliners to a market like Moncton. Summer is a tough season; it is extremely competitive in terms of securing talent. As Maritimers and as Monctonians though, we know that we have a strong scene of music lovers, so it becomes about selling the city and the festival to those acts that may not be familiar with the region. By growing the festival little by little and promoting Maritimers’ natural tendency to be hospitable hosts, I am confident we can build Mud City Meltdown to become a destination festival in the future.”

Of all the acts performing at this year’s Mud City Meltdown, it is the Cybertronic Spree that is arguably most unique. The group consists of various Transformers who perform music from the original Transformers movie along with other television favourite tracks

Among the other headliners performing at the festival is Halifax’s Matt Mays, who has reportedly completed recording the highly anticipated follow-up to his 2012 effort Coyote.

Acadian native Joseph Edgar, who headlines the Aberdeen Cultural Centre on Friday night, issued his most recent record, Ricochets, this past April.

What: Mud City Meltdown
When: Tuesday July 19 through Sunday July 24
Where: Various venues throughout Moncton
For advance ticket purchase, visit www.mudcitymeltdown.ca

Tuesday July 19

7 p.m. – Victoria Park – All ages – Free

Mathieu Boudreau

Wednesday July 20

Noon – Oak Park – Downtown Moncton – All ages – Free

Courtney Smith

Thursday July 21

5 p.m. – Plan b Lounge – 212 St. George St. – 19+ – Free

Music New Brunswick Workshop

9 p.m. – The Tide & Boar Ballroom – 700 Main St. – 19+ – $12 + service fees

The Cybertronic Spree

Friday July 22

Noon – Oak Park – Downtown Moncton – All ages – Free

Myriam Arseneau

7:30 p.m. – Aberdeen Cultural Centre – 140 Botsford St. – All ages – $20 + service fees

Joseph Edgar
Mon Oncle Jason

9 p.m. – Esquire Tavern – 2 Reade St. – 19+ – $10

Counter Clockwork
The Cauldron Project
Def Picasso
Anomaly

9 p.m. – The Tide & Boar Ballroom – 700 Main St. – 19+ – $15 adv. / $20 door

The Jimmy Swift Band
Superlove

Saturday July 23

11 a.m. – Moncton Farmer’s Market – Westmorland St. – All ages – Free

Stephen Lewis & The Big Band Of One

8 p.m. – Plan b Lounge – 212 St. George St. – 19+ – $10

Jeunes d’Asture
Space Rocks and Peanut Butter Sandwiches

9 p.m. – The Tide & Boar Ballroom – 700 Main St. – 19+ – $28.75 + service fees and taxes

Matt Mays
David In The Dark

9 p.m. – Esquire Tavern – 2 Reade St. – 19+ – $10

Outtacontroller
Sintax Error
The Adhesives
St. Elsewhere

Sunday July 24

2 p.m. – Spin-It Records – 467 Main St. – All ages – Free

The Disasterbaters
Phone Jerks