sound_therapy.wav takes place August 18-21 + Livestream August 24

sound therapy

sound_therapy.wav multi-day music festival ft. 2SQTBIPOC artists and allies

There’s a new festival in town! sound_therapy.wav is a multi-day music festival that highlights local queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized artists and allies.

The outdoor festival kicks off on Thursday, August 18th, and runs until Sunday, August 21st, in the private lot beside James Black Gallery (144 E 6th Ave) in Vancouver. The front and backyard of the gallery will also be open, with plenty of seating available. Additionally, a live stream-only show is included in the festival on Wednesday, August 24th. Festival passes are $45, with sliding scale passes for 2SQTBIPOC and low-income folks. There are also Angel Passes at $60 for those who can afford to offset the sliding scale system. Passes are available here and can also be purchased on-site.

The festival features many local artists, including Adewolf, KERUB, Steph Tsunami, and DJ Natü. Here’s the daily line-up schedule:

Thursday, August 18th
5:00 pm Welcome Ceremony
5:30 pm Nalule
6:30 pm ADAM
7:30 pm Shemedelyne
8:00 pm Steph Tsunami

Friday, August 19th
7:00 pm NI CO
8:00 pm IHA
9:00 pm KERUB

Saturday, August 20th
12:00pm Lowkita
1:00 pm SoyJoy Music
2:00 pm Adewolf
3:00 pm Business Bacha
4:00 pm Glisha
5:00 pm INTERMISSION
6:00 pm Reid Zakos
7:00 pm Havi with a J
8:00 pm diarygrrrl
9:00 pm DJ Natü

Sunday, August 21st
5:00 pm DANI YOUR DARLING
6:00 pm Athina’s Moon
7:00 pm Lowercase Dream
8:00 pm Dedication to Olivia Quan

Wednesday, August 24
6:00 pm kc.bdb
7:00 pm Enereph
8:00 pm Haleluya Hailu

sound_therapy.wav is supported by Creative BC, Good Night Out, The Future Is You and Me, The Juice Truck, FORT, and the City of Vancouver and takes place on the unceded ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

We had a chat with the co-organizer of sound_therapy.wav festival, Sunny Chen (aka Sad China). Find out more below!

You’re the co-organizer of sound_therapy.wav festival in Vancouver. Care to give us some background on the festival?

I’d love to! I curated a fine selection of local (queer, trans) Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized artists/bands, like Lowkita, Athina’s Moon, and Lowercase Dream, and DJs like Natü, Business Bacha, and Havi with a J to turn up the dancefloor with global sounds. sound_therapy.wav is four days of live music from our favourite artists in the heart of “Mt. Pleasant” and 1 Livestream showcase via Zoom. We want to bring our community together and make our music scene more inclusive for everyone. We’ll be vibing underneath a colourful tent donated by Fort St. McMurphy, on a private lot beside The James Black Gallery (144 E 6th Ave), with front and backyards of the building open for chilling. Every pass comes with a free Kickstarter juice, sponsored by the Juice Truck. It’s gonna be such a good time! Bring your kids, bring your grandma, bring your friends.

The festival highlights local queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized artists and allies. How did you come to this idea?

I’m a queer, nonbinary singer-songwriter and SA/DV survivor and have performed at shows where I’m the only non-man of colour on the lineup. I’ve gone to shows where I’m the only Asian non-man in the room, which often puts me in danger. My music speaks to my lived experiences of being tokenized, fetishized, exploited, and a queer person of colour. I applied for a Creative BC grant to put on my friends and my community, who are emerging (QT)BIPOC musicians. I wanted to co-create a protective space for 2SQTBIPOC to connect, showcase our talent, and enjoy music performed by people who have lived through the same experiences we have. Many musicians on our lineup are performing at their very first music festival. Staff from Good Night Out Vancouver and trained volunteers will be available for harm reduction and support during our live shows. Our festival crew is also mostly QTBIPOC. Our Code of Conduct can be reviewed on our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/ChWsUawOAKR/.

Are the artists performing at the festival all from BC or from across Canada?

Artists are from “Metro Vancouver, BC,” including “Surrey.” I grew up on unceded lands belonging to Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo Nations (colonially known as “Surrey” and” Langley”), and it was difficult to access opportunities for 2SQTBIPOC or connect with other emerging musicians.

On top of regular festival passes, you are offering Angel Passes, which donates $15 to support sliding scale festival goers & 2SQTBIPOC artists. This is a great idea. How did you come up with this idea?

Co-organizer Zandi came up with the idea. They mentioned there are people in our community who can afford to offset our low festival pass price (valued at $90). I want to keep barriers low because I grew up in a low-income immigrant family. I really stand by sliding scale options. My therapist offers a sliding scale too. If we didn’t offer a sliding scale, I wouldn’t be able to attend sound_therapy.wav, and I wouldn’t be able to access therapy either.

You led a free healing workshop along with event industry professional Luna Hoyek, which took place on ZOOM on August 14. How did that go? Will you be doing this again?

Our trauma-informed, participant-led workshop for survivors was healing, for all of us, including me. Spaces where survivors can speak freely, be understood by other survivors, and support each other, are too few and nearly non-existent in our colonial heteropatriarchy. It’s difficult to heal when we don’t even know who other survivors are. We need space to learn healthy coping strategies, practice mindfulness exercises to regulate our nervous system, emotionally and/or financially support each other, and be heard by people who understand our lived experiences. Our society hides people who’ve been harmed by sexual assault and/or domestic violence, forcing us to live in broken pieces, not knowing who to trust. But having space to seek guidance, share our experiences, process, and heal contributes to a healthier and more inclusive community. Especially since there are so many survivors who work in arts & culture. We have a wealth of knowledge, talent, and experience to share. During our workshop, I led two dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) exercises involving mindfulness and self-affirmation. Luna helped facilitate discussion on coping mechanisms, and I helped us transition from dialogue to exercises. Participants could choose to keep the mic and/or video off, set the pace of the workshop, and speak when they want. We wrote a poem collectively, which I will compile into some graphics to share with our community online.

Will there be future installments of the sound_therapy.wav festival?

I think so. Mike from Z95.3 called me (after I emailed every radio station in town) and said some hard truths about music festivals. He said even big festivals only make money back in their 3rd year running. Then he said, no matter what happens, at least you’ve got street cred. Thankfully, sound_therapy.wav 2022 is supported by Creative BC, Fort, The Future is you and me., Juice Truck, Acceleration Radio, The James Black Gallery, and the City of Vancouver. We’re able to keep our sliding scale passes accessible for our community, and we offer sliding scale $12-25 tickets to individual shows as well.

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