Drummer Dan Ruiz planned the four-day festival with his bandmates after observing that underage music fans are often unable to see their favourite bands due to provincial liquor laws.
In B.C., minors are not permitted to enter any music venue where alcohol is being served, even barring underage bands from performing.
“Alcohol and music - why do they automatically have to go together?” asks Ruiz.
"Access to the power of the live music experience should not hinge solely on whether one is old enough to order a drink in a bar."
The difficulty of finding cool clubs that will let an underage band play prompted Bestie to invite young bands to toss their hats in the ring and compete for a performing slot in the festival.
Ruiz says the response was slightly overwhelming.
“We received 175 applications from which we chose 75. There’s going to be a lot of great music to discover at this festival. And about 25% of the bands are underage.”
One of the bands who got the nod to appear in the festival is Derrival; some of the band's members are underage, while others are not.
Their latest video demonstrates the magic that young local bands are dreaming up - both musically and visually.
All proceeds of the festival will go to the Safe Amplication Society, a non-profit dedicated to music for people of all ages, and the Music Tree, a grassroots foundation raising awareness of ecological and community projects through music.
The festival headliners will be The Boom Booms, while Bestie will also perform. As well as live performances the festival will also feature workshops by community leaders.
The #Safe Fest festival takes place in a variety of venues around Vancouver October 10 - 13. All events are open to minors and a festival pass for all events costs $15.
Alcohol will be available at only some of the venues and will not be sold to minors.
The festival comes just a month after the province launched a website allowing people to share ideas on how to change liquor laws in the province.
- Read more about the B.C. liquor policy review
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