For one night in September over the past four years, Thunder Bay has transformed into a mini-Lollapalooza of sorts. I’m talking about Music For The Masses, the annual music festival showcasing Thunder Bay and the surrounding area’s array of musical talent
Wristbands are only $10 and are good to get you into all six participating venues, which are The Apollo, Crocks, Gargoyle’s, Black Pirate’s Pub, The Sovereign Room, and a new club opening soon, The Foundry. All of the clubs are centrally located in Thunder Bay’s entertainment district, on Red River Road and Cumberland Street in downtown Port Arthur.
There will be no pre-sales – wristbands can only be purchased from the venues on the night of the festival. MFTM-V is a 19+ event, IDs will be checked when patrons buy their wristbands.
Franz Masini, owner/operator of Zed Productions and the mastermind behind Music ForThe Masses, says this year’s festival is shaping up to be the best yet. Last year, 33 bands played and 1,500 people attended, making it a highly successful instalment.
This year, there are six venues involved, and the number of performers has grown to 37 at this point, with some additional slots still to be filled. Masini says that while the festival has grown exponentially since its inception in 2008, this year will be the largest and most diverse MFTM to date.
The Argus is first to bring you this year’s band roster, which is located just below this little spiel. Indeed, it’s quite an inclusive and eclectic assortment. This year’s festival showcases regional solo performers, bands, DJs and touring acts spanning a wide selection of musical genres including indie, folk, blues, funk, rock, punk, country, techno, metal, pop and jazz.
The majority of this year’s acts are from Thunder Bay, an important factor according to Masini. “It just shows people the scope of how many bands and people with musical talent there are in this city,” he said.
This year’s festival will also have plenty of fresh talent. 26 of the acts were not on last year’s roster, and 21 are first-time performers at MFTM.
“The cool thing about the festival,” Masini said, is that “from venue to venue, it’s going to be completely different genres of music. You might walk into one venue and see a metal band like Faceless Hulk, and walk into the next venue and see a blues artist like Mark Potvin or Tracy K.”
Each venue will host from six to eight performers throughout the night.
Now, the news we’ve all been waiting for. The band roster for Music For The Masses Five is:
Alaska Army Band (Psychedelic/Funk/Rock)
The Auditor General (Folk/Indie Rock)
Boy Castle (Rock/Pop/Punk)
Rodney Brown & The Derailers (Blues/Folk/Country/Reggae)
Damon Dowbak Trio (Folk/Freestyle)
Jean-Paul De Roover (Post-Pop/Rock/Electronica)
Dirtnap (Hip Hop/Rap)
Abby Dowhos (Acoustic/Folk)
Down Converter (Rock/Psychedelic)
Faceless Hulk (Grindcore/Deathmetal)
Fluorescent Brown (Rock/Soul)
Forever Dead (Rockabilly/Psychobilly)
Greenbank Trio (Folk/Rock)
The Groove (Funk/Rhythm & Blues)
Shy-Anne Hovorka (Indie/Pop/Folk)
Erin Junkala (Acoustic/Folk)
Tracy K & Blue Thunder (Blues/Rock)
The Keycutters (Country/Reggae)
The Bottom Rockers (Rock)
The Mark Potvin Blues Band Ft. The Potvin Horns (Blues/Swing/Jazz)
The Married Singlemen (Funk/Rock/Ska)
Mood Indigo (Jazz/Freestyle)
Ocean City Defender (Indie Rock/Space Pop)
The Okhrana (Deathmetal/Black Metal)
Point North (Rock/Pop)
Jon Reid & Matt Sellick (Nuevo-Flamenco/Blues/Jazz)
Robin Ranger (Jazz/Freestyle)
Rock Truck (Rock)
Jamie Smith (Acoustic/Folk/Country)
The Seaside Villains (Funk/Rock/Ska)
Nick Sherman (Acoustic/Folk)
Dylan Dewey Smith (Acoustic/Folk)
Scott van Teeffelen (Country/Rock)
Mary Walker (Acoustic/Folk)
Theatrics courtesy of Indigo Productions
Three performers still to be announced
Photos by Chantal DeGrace
Franz Masini has released the following statement:
MFTM has grown exponentially over the last two years, partly due to overwhelming support from all of our past and present sponsors and friends, without whom this festival would not be possible. These people include, but are not limited to the following: Jason Wellwood and all the amazing volunteers at LU Radio 102.7FM, Mary Rose Jensen and John Ongaro at Magic 99.9FM, Russell MacKenzie at Giant 105.3FM, everyone past and present at the Lakehead University Student Union and The Argus, Scott Chasty at Rock 94, Kris Ketonen at the Chronicle Journal, Sarah McArthur and Ray Brickwood at Shaw TV/Wired 4 Sound Thunder Bay, Fiona Gardiner at CKPR Thunder Bay, Jolene Banning and Cathy Alex at CBC Radio 1 88.3FM, Ryan Lehto at Celebrity Gene, The Walleye, Crystal SYNC Productions, TBShows, Frank Loffredo, Mags Klassen & Darren Treleaven (Jacks is missed), Mike St Jean, Derek Wall, Kyle Lees, Ken Fowler, Josh Kolic, and all of the amazing venues/musicians and masses of music fans of Thunder Bay. Thank you.