Get ready to let your “freak flag fly,” at LEMF, Aug. 18 in Galt Gardens. If you enjoy electronica music, the seventh annual LEMF (Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival) is the place to be.
“There’s people in colourful costumes. It’s a place to make a total ass of yourself in a non-judgmental atmosphere. It‘s a place to let your freak flag fly,” said organizer David Fritz a.k.a. Marty Funkhauser when he is on stage. He noted the event attracted 4,500 people attending throughout the day last year and he is hoping for more this year with five headlining acts.
“We have five headliners this year, two from New Zealand (Cheshire and Sammy Senior), one from Australia (Slynk), one from the U.S. (Joe Nice) and one from Canada (Wood N Soo),” he continued. “Having five headliners is unusual for us, but everything just seemed to work out this year, he said, adding their performances will be staggered throughout the day, so people will be able to catch all of their sets.
“This will be Cheshire’s first tour of Canada. He‘s beginning it here,” Fritz said.
“He plays glitch funk music, but he also plays live saxophone over top of it and he does some scratching as well,” he said.
“Wood N Soo play multi-genre soul dub and electronica. There are two of them they play a two-by-four set which is four turntables and two mixers,” he continued.
“Joe Nice is a dub step guy. He’s one of the godfathers of dub step,” he said, adding he is one of the few DJs still using vinyl.
“Sammy Senior plays ghetto funk and glitch hop. Slynk plays glitch hop and most kinds of funk,” he continued.
Fritz will be one of 30 DJs performing on three stages throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“I do a lot of disco and funky house music,” he said, noting he, along with most of the other local DJs, will be on the third stage, located next to the fountain in Galt Gardens.
“It gives local DJs an opportunity to perform and it gives the kids their own stage to listen,” he said, noting there will be plenty of family-friendly activities including food trucks, 10 artisan booths and a bouncy castle.
He noted there will be a lot of different styles of electronic music, plus a lot of local performers.
“It really is all about the community who get together to celebrate,” he said.
“I’m really impressed by this year’s lineup. I’m super excited about it,” he added.
The main stage is the Zodiac stage featuring three of the headliners and mostly house and dub music. A smaller stage, Luminosity, features two headliners and mostly drums and bass and the Serenity stage will be next to the fountain.
The Luminosity stage closes at 9:30 so everybody can check out the headlining acts.
Fritz has been DJing since the ’90s.
“I started going to shows in 1998 and was impressed by how much power DJs had over the audience and I decided I wanted to be that guy,” he said, adding he used to use vinyl in his shows.
“But I switched to Serato, which is a program most people use (to put their music on a laptop). I switched about seven years ago. Joe Nice still uses vinyl. I miss record store culture, though. I’ve almost worn holes in some of my favourites,’ he said.
There will also be a beer garden.
“We’ve kept everything reasonably priced, $6 for everything,” he said.
“So come out and drink lots so we can afford to do this,” he chuckled.
There is no cost to attend LEMF, thanks to generous sponsors including a Heart of the City grant, Unified Vibe 98.1 The Bridge, McCain Foods, Davis Pontiac, Plum, Two Guys and a Pizza Place and Sound Barrier Entertainment.
There will be an afterparty at Club Lime featuring 8 Bit Ninja, Alan Flava and Digaboo.