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Nextfest Launches in Old Strathcona
Tuesday May 31 , 2016
Edmonton’s festivals are an incredible way to discover new artists and find new favourites; this week, Nextfest kicks off its latest season with another amazing lineup!
Karimah by Indy Randhawa
Nextfest was started in 1996 by the Theatre Network; founder and first Festival Director Bradley Moss’ vision for the festival was to offer a producing platform for the playwrights of the “neXt generation”, a nod to Generation X. Now an 11 day festival featuring over 700 artists, the festival has become a vibrant celebration of upcoming artists. The festival is now multidisciplinary, featuring theatre, dance, visual art, music, and more thanks to a curatorial team with programmers who are dedicated to each discipline.
Steve Pirot, Festival Director, says that new and upcoming talent is the essence of the festival. “Every year is an education,” he says, “ Every year we get introduced to new musicians, writers, performers, visual artists. While it is exciting and rewarding to see artists that had been featured at Nextfest go on to subsequent success, we think that welcoming new artists into the Nextfest fold is even more rewarding.” It’s a valuable opportunity for young artists to meet much earlier in their careers, building connections in complementary disciplines and mediums that push their ideas further. The festival offers an opportunity for the next generation of artists to showcase their work and “meet, collaborate, and plot their ascendency.”
The Fortrelles by Andrew Paul
Pirot recommends attendees come seeking a surprise; ignore the reviews, he says, and see as much as you can. “The spirit of Nextfest is very much about investing in unknown commodities, and giving untested work an opportunity. Be curious. Take a risk. Embrace the newness, the untestedness, the rawness. To make the most of Nextfest you should try and see everything you can, especially if it’s something with which you have no experience. The artists and their work are new, so join the club. Be a new audience.”
Nextfest runs from June 2 - 12, 2016 at over 28 venues. The full schedule, artist bios, and tickets are available at nextfest.org.
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