BY MIKE STROMME
Kitchener-Waterloo’s biggest showcase vehicle for local indie rock is receiving an upgrade, as KOI Fest expands to Centre In The Square. KOI Fest At The Parking Lot will be a two-stage, indie rock bonanza featuring a mix of local talent and established acts coming to the Centre In The Square (CITS) parking lot on June 25.
“The Parking Lot is an exciting new venture and creates new opportunities for community partnership and revenue generation that previously weren’t an option for Centre In The Square,” said KOI Fest general manager Rob Sonada. “The opportunities are endless with this new venue and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”
Stage A will be headlined by Canadian rock icons Sam Roberts Band along with The Strumbellas, Tokyo Police Club and Hannah Georgas.
Centre in the Square has not confirmed which stage any other acts will be performing on. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks and months leading up to the event.
Since the birth of KOI Fest in 2010, competition for the attention of music festival-goers in southern Ontario has been fierce. KOI founders Curt and Cory Crossman have since recognized that they can no longer handle this task alone. With the help of Centre In The Square, KOI Fest has found a way to expand the festival, all while staying true to its roots.
“The synergy between CITS and KOI works perfectly, meshing years of festival experience and a decade and a half of growing the local music scene with an organization that brings in top tier talent and culturally important productions to our region” said Curt Crossman.
Not only does KOI Fest shine a spotlight onto indie rock in Kitchener-Waterloo, it reaches out to a younger audience – an audience that the festival’s organizers believe is under served.
“KOI Fest At The Parking Lot is not just another event but rather a vehicle to revitalize the under served young audience,” said Aleta Wilson, publicity and communications co-ordinator at Centre In The Square.
If all goes well, and the synergy between Centre In The Square and KOI Fest goes off without a hitch, it’s possible that Centre In The Square could see more events that utilizes the venue’s parking lot. This could lead to bigger outdoor acts coming to Kitchener-Waterloo.
“This new initiative is a new opportunity for Centre In The Square to generate revenue streams that didn’t exist before,” said Wilson. “The centre is really excited to be doing something out of the ordinary.”
Festival tickets are on sale. Stage A (headlined by Sam Roberts Band) are $69.50 plus applicable fees and is a 19+ event. Any acts on the other stage, Stage B, are free for all ages.
Garage VIP tickets are also available for $125. This includes access to a private lounge and bar, catering from Chef D, official KOI Fest At The Parking Lot merchandise and lanyard, private washrooms and a covered VIP viewing from a side stage with an exclusive bar. Just like Stage A, these tickets are only available for those who are 19+.
For more information, visit www.centreinthesquare.com, “Like” KOI Music Festival on Facebook or follow @koimusicfest on Twitter.