With Love Things Get Wyrd

From the organizers to the artists, the festival proves that a Wyrd love is a special kind of love.

Wyrd III
With Dirty Beaches, Gobble Gobble, Red Mass and many more.
Friday, May 20, 6 p.m.
Dinwoodie Lounge
(Students’ Union, U of A)
Tickets: $20 at Blackbyrd, Listen and

Paul Lawton knows what love is. Watching Aaron Levin build Canada’s best music site from nothing (Weird Canada), he has seen it firsthand. An eclectic musician/writer/promoter/ in his own right, Lawton shares that love, and as everyone knows, love knows no bounds. Hell, I knew a guy who swore he actually loved Courtney Love. Like love-love. He almost faxed her a marriage proposal (it was a while ago). But what about love of the intangible? What about the love of something you can’t see? For Wyrd lll Music Festival co-founder Lawton, the love of music is a hot and sweaty mess of passion.

“The Alberta scene has been ignored from everyone outside of Alberta for so long,” Lawton says. “I’ve been promoting bands for the last three years and Alberta bands rarely get a break outside of Alberta. The infrastructure of grants and the like just doesn’t exist out here. But, the upside is you get this real salt of the earth love out here, it’s a community and religion and it’s for the true believers. When Aaron and I first met a few years ago, we were drawn to each other and we are true believers.”

“Wyrd Music Festival is a lot of work and it’s a nonprofit so all the money goes into the bands,” Lawton continues. “On our part, it’s a lot of work for free out of the love of Canadian music and intrinsic desire that Aaron and I share bringing all these bands to play.  If they came solo they’d play a dozen people, but now we put them all together and they play huge audiences.”

But with love comes the need to be loved back. Having it all pay off is a very important thing, but ‘paying off’ is a subjective term especially when it comes to love.

“Monetary success is not the motivating factor,” Lawton says. “We’ve never done this other than because we love the music and we love sharing it. And if being successful was the primary driving force, I would have stopped years ago. With today’s music industry being the cesspool that it is, we aren’t looking for flash in the pan success because it is so temporary now. The markers of success are different. I’m not looking for a short-term thing.”

With such a deep love comes the need for variety. To quote the Love Shaman (and performance artist) Shakti Bliss, “Love is transformation.” I’m really not sure what that means, but, I’m guessing that it references not being afraid to spice things up.

“One of our mandates with the Wyrd Travelling Festival is that we don’t have year to year repeats,” Lawton explains. “And even without repeats, there are still so many bands that we could have gone with. We have the two stage format which is great, especially at the Dinwoodie with the stages side by side. The bands will ping pong back and forth with major genre shifts. Wyrd one and two were amazing, but three is the most diverse sonically. I’m excited for people to see bands they may not have seen previously. We are not relying on huge bands for draw. The draw is the fact that we spend all our time listening to music. We are curators. It’s not listening to exclusive music to feel superior; it’s to showcase the diamonds in the rough.”

Sounds like love to me.


Comments: 3

Kate00004 wrote:

So what publication should I look at if I want to learn something about the Wyrd Fest? What are these senseless ramblings about love combined with enormous blocks of quotes?

on May 20th, 2011 at 12:39pm Report Abuse

havingsomethoughts wrote:

Agreed. With something this important happening, it's a shame that See instead sends a writer who obviously does not understand or care about the story he's writing. The inane asides and unnecessary self-focus of the article really reflect poorly on See as a local arts publication.

on May 20th, 2011 at 12:48pm Report Abuse

curtistwright wrote:

Thanks for your opinions, everyone. While we @ SEE appreciate your comments and viewpoint, we also appreciate criticism that is not defamatory. Thanks.

on May 20th, 2011 at 5:04pm Report Abuse

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