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Changes for Whoop Up Days include bigger name acts this year

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Big changes are afoot for Whoop Up Days this year, under the guidance of new Chief Operating officer Mike Warkentin.Mike Warkentin announces the music for Whoop up Days 2019. Photo by Richard Amery
Whoop Up Days begins  Aug, 20 , with a big country night, featuring Lethbridge’s Corb Lund Aaron Goodvin and Alee.

“We’re very excited to present this year’s entertainment. We have a three to five year plan to make Whoop Up days bigger,” Warkentin said.

There are new community partnerships with Visit Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College and there will be more security due to an exciting new, bigger lineup. Even better, ticket prices are going to be cheaper, going down to $12 in advance  and $15 at the gate.  A EX pass is available as well, allowing admission to every night for $34.

“We’ve talked with people in the community about that and that was the biggest concern — that ticket prices were too high, ” Warkentin said.
This year, there will also be priority seating for all concerts.
The stage site is being changed to a face the south to allow a 7,500 capacity, whereas the capacity before was 3,000.

There is no classic rock this year,which usually dominates Whoop Up Days, instead there are a lot of bigger contemporary names and up and coming stars.

“ It’s not to say we won’t have classic rock, but we wanted to book the best lineup we could this year to appeal to the widest range of people as possible,” Warkentin said.

 The Sam Roberts Band, who last played Lethbridge in April 2011, headline on Aug. 21 with Edmonton based, Juno nominated alternative/ soul musician Nuela Charles and Calgary based country/ roots musician Mariel Buckley.

 It will be all about indie rock and blues on  Aug. 22 with Burlington, Ontario Folk/ rock band Walk off The Earth, Edmonton based indie rock band Scenic Route To Alaska and Toronto based  blues/ soul band The Julian Taylor Band

It is alternative rock night Aug. 23 with the  Hamilton rockers the Arkells, Dundas Ontario rockers The Dirty Nil and Vancouver indie pop band Dear Rouge.
 Whoop Up Days is  also featuring a rap and hip hop night finishing things off on Friday, Aug. 24 with Atlanta rapper Lil Jon,  Notorious YEG and Harman B.

There will be up and coming country stars entertaining nightly in the Let Er’ Buck Saloon, which opens at 3 p.m. for a $4 beer happy hour until 6 p.m. and then remain open until 1 a.m. with Medicine Hat duo Mahoney performing  Aug. 20, Ryan Lindsay, Aug. 21, the Justin Hogg Band on Aug. 22, The Abrams, Garrett Gregory and Justin Hogg Band, Aug. 23 and  the Chris Buck band and Karac Hendriks performing, Aug. 24.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Lethbridge College Student’s Association, Aug. 23 is students night with discounted tickets for anyone with a valid student’s ID. That will result in money being donated back to the Student’s Association to improve student life on campus.

 Admission to all concerts is included in gate admission, however, there are also 500 seat priority tickets for the bigger shows.

“That is for the superfans, who are willing to pay a premium price and want to be right next to the stage and want to have shorter lines to the washrooms and  bar,”  said Warkentin, who returns home to Lethbridge  after working with the Northlands Exhibition in Edmonton. Those ticket prices vary according to on the show.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 April 2019 14:03 ) Read more...

Last class bash, laughs and much more this week

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To quote Alice Cooper, “Schoooooooollllll’s out for summmmmmeeeer. At least it is for university students, who celebrate the end of the semester with live music and DJS. Whistler, B.C., duo Skiitour are on the bill along with Toronto’s Junaiid the DJ, Fernie B.C. singer/songwriter Max Hopkins and Calgary based indie Rock band Homeless in Hawaii plus Basement 732. You have to have a valid U of L student ID to get in to see the show, but The Mark Hall band play Maggie Hall's annual Alzheimer‘s Fundraiser at KC's Pub this weekend. Photo by Richard Ameryadmission is free.

 But before that don’t miss Aydn Townes, formerly Andy Brown who brings a new sound and a new world outlook thanks to a brush with death to the Slice on Wednesday, April 3. He’ll be joined by Regina based singer /Songwriter Joel Henderson aka Poor Nameless Boy and Tyson Ray Borsboom.

There are a lot of laughs this week with amateur night at Good Times, Thursday, April 4. And Yuk Yuks Comedy returns to Average Joes on Friday, April 5 with  Ryan Patterson, Austin Lonneburg and host Randy Webb. The yuks begin at 8:30 p.m.. Tickets are $15.

 Good Times features two shows this weekend.

 Canadian actor, stand up comedian and MC Eric Johnson brings his Small town tour to Good Times,  Friday, April 5 with Ainsley McPhail. Monty Scott, performing two shows at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Saturday, April 6. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Impromptu’s improvised  soap opera Downton Gommorrah returns to Club Didi, April 5. Doors open at 8:30 .m. Admission is $10.
Life doesn’t have to be a drag, unless you want it to. If so, Lethbridge Pride Fest and Dream Haus presents the fifth annual Diva Cabaret and Drag spectacular, at Casino Lethbridge, April 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $30.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:47 ) Read more...

More performers for this year’s Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival

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There are more bells for the 89th annual Music and Lethbridge Speech Arts Festival begins April 1 featuring a variety of choirs, musicianGeneral Manager Natasha Tompkins is excited for this year’s Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival. Photo by Richard Amerys and performers performing throughout the city until April 13.
The first day features musical theatre, speech arts, instrumental, organ and choral sections.

“ Next year is our ninetieth and we have some plans for it, but we’re looking forward to this one first. We’re excited to be back in the Yates Theatre,” said Lethbridge Music and Speech arts general manager Natasha Tompkins.
“ We have more bell ringing groups this year with 14. But we have fewer speech arts sections because one of the main teachers retired,” she continued.

 There are a few other changes this year.
“Our headquarters will be back in the Yates. We have 14 different disciplines and 14 adjudicators. And we have over 1,000 people registered this year, which is more than we’ve had. Last year we had 977,” Tompkins summarized.

“And we have a pipe organ section. It has been a few years since we’ve had pipe organs (2013),” she said, adding the organ section is April 1 at St. Augustine’s Sanctuary.

The other venues are the Yates, Lethbridge Public Library Downtown Casa, Southminster United Church and St. Patrick’s Fien Arts Elementary School.

As usual, there are two best of concerts. Saturday, April 6, features the best Musical Theatre performances. And the Stars of the Festival Concert is April 13. Admission to these concerts are five dollars. They begin at 2:30 p.m.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 April 2019 08:57 ) Read more...

Sean Burns brings country back to the Geomatic Attic

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Sean Burns made his bi-monthly visit to Lethbridge, this time to play the Geomatic Attic, Wednesday, March 30.

Sean Burns was at the Geomatic Attic last week. Photo by Richard Amery
 He was joined by a hot band including bassist Tom Fodey, Skinny Dyck playing steel guitar, Joanna Miller holding down the beat and lead guitarist Chris Dunn.

I missed most of the show due it starting at 8 p.m. sharp and me being on the air on CKXU for FUNdrive.

 But I was in time to catch one of my favourite Sean Burns song “Have You Seen that Train,” and in time for an  encore including the upbeat “Cheers, Bottoms Up Again” featuring a pretty steel guitar solo from Skinny Dyck and a brief guitar solo from Chris Dunn.

 They ended with “Cadillac,” which was a little slower, but featured Burns blowing a pretty harp solo.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:48 )

CKXU Fundrive puts the fun in fundraising with medieval flair

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 This week was all about CKXU FUNdrive and fundrive related events. CKXU volunteers and staff put in countless 20 some hour days organizing events, recording radio plays  and coming up with incentives and fundraising ideas on air for  their annual Fundrive, March 15-22.Rudz Crew playing the CKXU Musical melee for Fundrive. Photo by Richard Amery

The University of Lethbridge based community radio station raised a total of $23,034 including money raised at several events happening throughout the past week towards their $30,000 goal which they plan to put towards a new website which will allow podcasting and other features.

 One of the most fun events was The Musical Melee battle of the Bands upstairs in the old firehall, Saturday,CKXU Volunteer Dai Hewison mans the phones early in Fundrive. Photo by Richard Amery March 16. I was on the air, so missed first and second place winners the Youngbloods and Fawns, but I was in time to catch a new band 21st Avenue, playing for about 40 people by the time I arrived.
 They played a solid set, especially since one of the members had only joined five days before.

 They played a solid set of mostly original chiming country rock and ambient indie pop/rock  which had elements of country and a lot of mid ’90s sound along the lines of Dishwalla with a touch of Red Hot Chili Pepper sand  smattering of Said the Whale.
 Rudz Crew, who play the Casino every so often, closed off the set with a  set mostly of covers ranging from ’90s country to blues like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Cold Shot.”

Shaela Miller and her band playing Ramones covers to wind up Fundrive. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played some Confederate Railroad and  one I really liked called “ You Haven’t Seen the last of Me.”
The also sang a solid version of  “It’s So Easy to Fall in Love.”
They ended with a cover of the Greg Kihn Band’s “the Breakup Song (They Don”t Write ’em.”)
Earlier in the day, Saturday, March 16, CKXU tried something new with their Cupcake Carnival, by combining it with a Love and Records event at the Lethbridge Public Library Downtown.

 They had a variety of record vendors and artisans, and , of course, cupcakes,  upstairs with an acoustic stage featuring   talent like Willy Big Bull and Jess Tollestrup. Willy Big Bull sang heartfelt acoustic folk in his big, raspy voice.Willy Big Bull playing CKXU's Love N' Cupcakes, March 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 Downstairs they turned things up with Calgary’s Outlaws of Ravenhurst, who were a highlight of Love and Records in 2014.
 The trio, dressed in their usually knight’s jerkins,  played riff heavy ’80s sounding metal about fantastical themes, dragon attacks and quests, fitting in well with this year’s medieval Fundrive theme of Into the Radio Realm. 

Unfortunately they didn’t have a lot of people to take in their upbeat set, though they had a couple little kids dancing with their parents.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:38 ) Read more...
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