Monday, March 4, 2024

8 weeks of free concerts: CFUV brings genre-diverse music series to Centennial Square


Free music of all genres is coming to Centennial Square every Wednesday this summer!

This year marks the 10th Eventide collaboration between the City of Victoria and CFUV, which is UVic’s campus radio station.

Eventide was conceptualized as a free, outdoor, all-ages music series which would showcase local bands and musicians while bringing in touring acts to bolster the city’s vast and diverse music scene. 

The music series allows for bands who might not get selected to play mainstream music festivals a stage to play in a prominent outdoor arts space in Victoria with a diverse caste of guest curators who help organize the music.

Centennial Square will see eight weekly Eventide shows every Wednesday this summer, beginning July 5th and running through until August 23rd. 

“Basically the idea was to put people on a stage downtown that don’t traditionally get a space there,” said Troy Lemberg, Music Director for CFUV. 

“There’s JazzFest and [Harbour Roots and Blues] and that kind of thing, but we wanted to provide a space where underrepresented voices and genres that don’t usually get that kind of space in a city-sponsored setting could have one.”

Every year is a completely different entity for Eventide, because the guest curators aren’t always the same. Those who help curate the festival are promoters from throughout the city, each with a different ‘wheelhouse’ when it comes to music taste and genre specialty. 

The result of this approach to booking is that every week, the music coming out of Centennial Square will be drastically different — one week an all Indigenous act show will take place and the next week might feature experimental music or a hardcore and metal show.

The Eventide schedule for 2023 was just announced on Tuesday, June 27th; although there are some gaps due to CFUV waiting on some last minute confirmations.

Here’s the schedule for Eventide 2023:

  • July 5th – Dene Talk & CFUV Present: 
    • DACEY (Vancouver), TBA, DJ Sio
  • July 12th – Near Dark Events Present: 
    • The Nausea (Vancouver), Maskara (Nanaimo), Greifer, Coop Lore
  • July 19th – Fifty Fifty Arts Collective Present: 
    • Kimmortal (Vancouver), Mourning Coup, Niloo, Pesewa
  • July 26th – City of Victoria Artist In Residence, Kemi Craig, Presents: 
    • Sounds of Victoria — an evening of public art with sounds mixed by Jeff Elom as well as DJ Ayaverse and one more DJ who is TBA
  • August 2nd – Cavity Curiosity Shop Presents: 
    • Tribunal (Vancouver), Distorted Influence, Scalding (Vancouver), Disposal, Altered Dead, White Collar
  • August 9th – Audio Osmosis Presents: 
    • Pursuit Grooves (Toronto), Audio Osmosis DJ set
  • August 16th –  Good Party Presents: 
    • Stem Champ (Edmonton), Behaviors (Nanaimo), Fan Girl
  • August 23rd – CFUV Presents: 
    • TBA, TOVA (Regina), TK The Artist, TBA

Eventide is always free to all who wish to go and Lemberg says accessibility is always the most important thing to CFUV, Victoria and all the guest curators. 

“It’s supposed to be a very accessible festival that’s all ages and free,” Lemberg told Victoria Buzz.

“There’s a station in Abbotsford that does a similar kind of thing, but their city requires them to put up fencing that keeps out unhoused people whereas we’re like, everyone join, even the unhoused can come to our event.”

Comparatively, the City of Victoria is relatively hands-off with this weekly showcase. That being said, one hurdle CFUV has had to get creative in order to overcome has been that the budget provided by the city hasn’t increased much in the past few years, according to CFUV. 

The city pitches in $2,000 per show, as well as the space, the sound gear and security. CFUV then handles the organization and the funds Eventide receives from Victoria go toward paying the bands who come from near and far to play.

Eventide 2023

  • Where: Centennial Square 
  • When: Every Wednesday at 6 p.m., from July 6th to August 23rd 
Curtis Blandy

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