What a summer it was! While it felt much like summers of our childhoods, seemingly stretching on for miles and days and great long swaths of time, we now sit at the beginning of the fall, at the cusp of a new school year and the beginning of a new cycle in the music world, and I feel like it flew by in a flash.
Fall is a time of year that always makes me excited. Whether it's because I love the days getting cooler, wearing pants and long sleeves, seeing nature change colours and become crispy and crackly, seeing my breath billow in the air as I walk outside, or because routines begin anew, people go back to work, kids and teens head back to school, and my own work schedule sparkles with a shiny, excited newness as I establish fresh routines and determination. I start wanting to wear slippers and bake delicious treats and sip hot drinks and drape cozy blankets over my legs and curl up with the dog on the couch as I read a book. These are the days of happiness in my world, and of honing in on plans and To Do Lists and action.
And when it comes to the music world, this is the time that we start looking towards the next summer's bookings. Summer festival applications happen in the fall. I learned that the hard way in our first year doing music, and was left empty-handed with no festivals to speak of that first year. Once I learned the rhythms though, I got going, and the second year, with a lot of work and push behind our submissions and applications, we got into a few festivals, and this summer we got into more. Every year it builds, and at every new ground we arrive at we meet new people, make new connections, and find new doors opening. It is heartening to experience that people are still truly at the heart of the industry, and that it's networking, connecting, and building relationships that is what helps us move forward, rather than being tech-savvy (although that helps), or a smooth communicator (although that helps), or having the very best music (although that would help also).
They say that it's not the best artists that succeed. It's the hardest working ones.
AND LET ME TELL YOU, WE ARE WORKING VERY HARD!!
But I digress. This summer, we made the most wonderful connection with the most wonderful band called the Oot 'n' Oots. "A rock and roll band for all ages", these guys put on such a marvellously entertaining show as 4 brothers and one 11-year-old daughter. Family-friendly, hilarious, and extremely high-quality musicianship makes this a group that draws out giggles and admiration. And on top of that, they're really nice!
We sat eating lunch together one day at the Midsummer Music Festival where both our bands were performing, and got to talking about showcases, and specifically, BreakOut West, which is a big conference, showcase and music awards week that will be happening this October in Kelowna. Well through this conversation and some further steps, there arrived an open door for us to walk through.
We are so excited to be able to announce that The Kwerks will be doing a mini showcase at BreakOut West! This means that we will get to play a set for an audience of both the public and industry reps, festival organizers, venue managers, promoters and managers and all sorts of others. This is an opportunity not only to get in front of the industry, but it's a new foray for us into the world of family entertainment. While we haven't identified ourselves as family entertainment, we have deliberately kept things clean with our music, and have known for a while that there are many small ears listening. In fact, a solid 1/2 of our listener base is families with young kids. So it feels totally natural and completely exciting for us to be testing the waters here.
If you're feeling like coming out, the Mini-BOW (Mini BreakOut West), as part of the larger BreakOut West week, is a free, family-friendly event happening on Saturday, Oct 13 in Kelowna, BC. There will be 4 bands showcasing (including the wonderful Oot 'n' Oots!) and it will be a great time!! Apart from that, we hope to make some new, solid, helpful connections while we're there. Wish us luck, friends!