Each autumn, the Halifax Pop Explosion showcases established and emerging musical artists. Recently AE's Whitney Moran spoke with the festival’s executive director Jonny Stevens about this year’s event, which runs from October 18-22.
AE: What is HPX and what is its core mandate?
JS: The Halifax Pop Explosion is a 5 day marathon of music where fans can digest 150 artists in over 20 venues and discover something new that he or she has never heard before. The goal is to present tomorrow’s stars today. Our mandate is to present new and exciting music from Halifax and beyond while providing the most affordable experience possible.
AE: What opportunities are provided by HPX for local artists?
JS: Along with loads of local music, we are putting on a poster-art show, a ‘zine fair, video presentations, and more. We always have our local scene in mind whenever we program anything. We also present a conference that is free of charge for all performing artists to attend and super low cost for anyone else who would like to come.
AE: What acts are you most excited about bringing to Halifax this year?
JS: Most of our acts are newcomers: Thermals, Titus Andronicus, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Twin Shadow and many more have never been here before and we hope that they’ll want to come back in the future after performing at HPX.
AE: What’s new for this year?
JS: We have several new venues, including Reflections, Palace, St. Antonio’s Hall, Bus Stop Theatre and the Khyber. HPX has stayed the same for the past 18 years and this year is a bigger version of our already great model. We’ve brought in more of the big bands that people have been requesting and our ticket prices have stayed the same as a way of saying thanks to those who have supported us over the years. We’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeves that we’ll announce in the coming weeks.
AE: In your opinion, why has HPX been so successful?
JS: We listen to the fans first and spend an insane amount of time thinking about what they want and then work like hell to try and provide it for them at a low cost. We’ve always been part of the scene and have remained true to ourselves over the past 19 years.