MEGAPHONO takes on many shapes and forms: it’s an Ottawa-based music organization, and, for the first time this year, an inaugural showcase festival. In 2014, the organization participated in a study on the National Capital Region’s music scene. The results of this study, outlined in a paper called “Connecting Ottawa Music”, reveal something quite interesting: that there exists a significant knowledge gap between local artists and the music industry. It’s out of this key finding that MEGAPHONO organizers felt the need to create a new showcase festival to highlight the National Capital Region to the local, national and international music community. It’s safe to say that their “Eureka” moment certainly came knocking at a perfect time.
MEGAPHONO isn’t your typical music festival in search of a niche. As co-organizer Lesley Marshall explains “it focusses on building opportunities for Ottawa area artists and music companies, both emerging and more established”. It’s a showcase that aims to bridge the gap between the music industry, the musicians and the public by putting Ottawa’s best foot forward via a series of workshops, panels and shows. The festival is as much an occasion to check out live music as it is for networking and learning the ropes of the music business. It’s at once for the people, and by the people. And that’s where it stands out from the plethora of festival offerings that are presented in Canada’s National Capital Region on a yearly basis.
Echoing Ottawa’s growing DIY movement, MEGAPHONO is very collaborative in nature, a sure sign that the local cultural scene is increasingly taking advantage of the growing quantity of available resources to build a more sustainable artistic community. From its association with local brewery Beau’s All Natural to its co-presentations with Ottawa Showbox, Apt613, Arboretum Festival and Ottawa Explosion, just to name a few, MEGAPHONO is establishing itself as an indispensable team player who’s reaching out to partners in an effort to forge relationships and work towards developing the National Capital Region’s burgeoning music community.
Happening from February 3 to February 5, 2015 at various locations across the city, the first edition of MEGAPHONO will present an impressive amount of talks and networking opportunities as well as a stellar lineup featuring local heroes from the likes of Flight Distance, The Yips, Hilotrons, Jill Zmud, The PepTides, and Steve Adamyk Band and a few out-of-towners like CROSSS, Heat, and U.S. Girls.
These are certainly exciting times for the Ottawa-Gatineau music scene and MEGAPHONO gets that. The new kid on the festival block is a most welcome contributor that’s sure to have an important impact on music lovers and musicians alike.
To purchase tickets and check out the entire programming, visit http://megaphono.tv/.