As a recent convertee into the world of EDM, I was a bit apprehensive in embracing the genre of music for whatever inner battle I’m having with self-actualization. After writing it off completely alongside country music, I’ve dipped my toes into the likes of DVBBs and DJ Snake, the equivalent of listening to Drake as an intro to rap music and I don’t completely hate it.
And on the heels of Kitchener-Waterloo’s very own EDM festival Ever After around the corner, I may be digging into my bank account to see what all the hype is about. This year, the lineup is clearly taking a more bass and dubstep route which should open me up to even more possibilities into this abyss of sub genres.
“We try to listen to our audience. Bass has been a thing that K-W and [the] GTA have been increasingly asking for … and it’s on an incline; it’s garnering a lot of traction from worldwide events that have bass-only stages,” Gabriel Mattachione said, organizer of Ever After Festival.
Having only just realized how close to home this increasingly popular festival is to the Laurier community recently, it’s a surprise that the festival isn’t more prevalent in our culture – perhaps it’s the stigmas surrounding EDM music and the lack of knowledge of all the sub genres. There’s definitely a genre for everyone; it’s not all straight beats and bass drops.
With the saturation prevalent in the Toronto music scene and the multitude of venues shutting down, Ever After is still going strong at K-W’s Bingemans.
“I truly don’t believe there is a better venue suited for something that we are creating and trying to create with Ever After. [Bingeman’s] has a number of amenities that are on site: a water park, camping, a scenic view along the river. It’s just the perfect home,” Mattachione said.
After the closure of Beta, I was interested to see if the EDM scene would migrate out of K-W and look for the bass elsewhere, but there may be a glimmer of hope.
“[Beta’s closure] has given us an opportunity to potentially open something up such as Beta with a different outlook on what Beta really was … to truly bring an experience to students that other venues don’t bring,” Mattachione said.
I don’t truly believe that the other festivals are real festivals. To me, they’re just two day long concerts.
One of the first things that are often tied into a congregation of shufflers and head banging is the prolific use of drugs. And the organizer’s at these events are fully aware of the stigma and the harsh realities of consumption of who-knows-what pills.
“We have three lines of defence for this apparent problem within the scene. We do extensive research and educational pieces that make it apparent that this is not the thing to do and just come and enjoy your time, the music and the experience,” said Mattachione.
In addition to an extensive security team that is educated on the types of drugs that may be apparent this year, the venue will have a strong police presence and amnesty boxes to warn attendees and give them an opportunity to ditch any items they realize they are not allowed to bring inside.
With an EMS team, Ever After will be setting up a mini hospital within the venue to attend to those who need it until they are able to be taken to a hospital if need be.
Having complied with city restrictions that were placed on the festival last year, Ever After is committed to continuing to uphold this level of respect for the surrounding community while also making sure that the attendees’ experience is flawless. The only difference from last year’s festival is that they will be starting a couple hours later, at 1:00 p.m.
Like other festivals in the GTA, Ever After is expecting an influx of attendees from all over the world who, as expected, will be interested in exploring the city. There will be many events planned from after parties in downtown Kitchener bars.
As the summer festival season kicks into full gear, there will be an EDM festival happening in Southern Ontario each month. Although to outsiders it may seem like all the same, the experience at Ever After is definitely intended to be a well-rounded and inclusive one.
“I don’t truly believe that the other festivals are real festivals. To me, they’re just two day long concerts,” Mattachione said.
Ever After is definitely hoping to maximize the use of the facilities at Bingemans, allowing attendees to truly camp out, experience the water parks and the scenic views by the river.
“We try and recreate an experience. In doing so, we really believe that Ever After can become a weekend vacation and getaway for students and other people alike.”