BY MATT HOWELL
Celebrating its fifth year, KOI Fest surpassed all expectations despite bad weather and last minute venue changes.
Over 100 bands performed over the Sept. 19-21 event at eight different venues, including at an outdoor mainstage. Part of King Street in Kitchener was shut down for the festival that drew people from all over the province. Show organizer Cory Crossman said this was the biggest KOI Fest yet.
“We added a third day of bands, a comic book (featuring King KOI), a charity drive, food truck vendors and KOI Con, which enlightens people about the music industry,” Crossman said.
KOI Fest, which has had its share of weather problems in the past, had a lot of last minute changes to endure. Saturday night headliners, Every Time I Die, were scheduled to play the mainstage, but with negative weather reports coming in, they were switched to back-up venue The Wax. Bad weather and changes of venue did not darken the spirits of the almost 5,000 fans who came out on Saturday.
Josh Correia, a second-time KOI Fest attendee, said he had an amazing time. “Chaos reigned when Every Time I Die hit the stage. I mainly came to see them, Counterparts and Foxy Shazam,” Correia said.
This event could not have gone as smoothly as it did without the help of almost 100 volunteers. Dan Sommer, a second-year volunteer, said, “It’s a good way for fellow music lovers to support music and their community.”
KOI Fest surpassed past years in not only attendance, but the sheer volume and talent of the bands that played. Friday night, which was free to everyone, saw rock veterans Danko Jones tear up the stage. Every Time I Die, Chiodos, Four Year Strong, Mad Caddies and Miss May I headlined Saturday, while Sunday saw the mainstage filled with established Canadian bands like Silverstein, Protest The Hero and U.S.S.
The festival is also a chance for smaller bands to get their music out to the masses.