Listen to some of Calgary's best musicians as featured in Fatigue Fest which was part of the Chinook Blast.
Stagehand was a part of the inaugural Chinook Blast, a mid winter roundup designed to energize the downtown core and celebrate the local arts community. As with all things during a pandemic, it was not without its challenges! We began organizing our part in the festival last fall. We were asked to have artists performing on Stephen Ave, beside fire pits, from mid January until the end of February. Initially we called it "Bold & Cold Street Performances".
Once it was decided that the festival was going to be delayed in starting and that drawing a crowd by singing outdoors wasn't going to work, we briefly entertained having artists playing in store front windows along Stephen Ave but that too was kiboshed due to restrictions. We finally agreed upon was an online streaming initiative which was nearly pandemic proof!
We jumped on the online streaming idea early in the pandemic when we ran the "Clean Hands. Clear Heads, Open Hearts: Online Concert Series" in March, April and early May of 2020. Clean Hands, was a simple operation which involved dropping off an iPhone, external mic and tripod off at the homes of numerous Calgary artists who then performed for 45 minutes. It was at that time that we really got the tipping functionality of our platform working. Artists were paid an honorarium plus they made tips from the viewing public. It turned out to be a great success.
For the next version of the online concert series, which we aptly named "Fatigue Fest", we decided we wanted to include various live music venues who, like musicians, are struggling at this time. Live music was and is still not allowed in public spaces (except churches, but that's another story). We asked selected venues if we could live stream from their stages during times when they were closed. All venues were enthusiastic and we enlisted The Ironwood Stage & Grill, The Blues Can, Mikey's on 12th, Broken City and Asylum for Art.
For the artists we put out a call through Stagehand and received over 100 talented applicants. The festival ran from February 11th to February 27th and consisted of two or three 30 minute shows per day. We hosted 30 artists with a wide variety of genre's including Country, R&B, Blues, Roots, Rock, Classical, Jazz, Electronica and more. Featured artists included: Justine Vandergrift, Brettyn Rose, Scarlett Butler, Sonia Deleo, Angela Wrigley, Hello Moth, Justine Giles, Jay Coda Walker, Devin Cooper, Eileen Kosasih, Mitch Belot, Taylr, Zenon, Two Late to the Party, Wyatt C. Louis, Erin Ross, Aaron Young, Howlin' Pete, Rob Skeet, Mariya Stokes, Mike Watson, Michela Sheedy, Marcus Trummer, Jory Kinjo, Clinton St. John, Hayden McHugh, John Wort Hannam, Tim Williams, Gisela Romero and Tom Phillips. The 30 minute format was perfect as it gives you a sense for the artist but it's not fatiguing (haha).