Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Festival: there’s an app for that

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THE old? Pea soup, and bushy beards. The new? An iPhone app and musical acts that’ll get the kids talking.

Tuesday morning, Festival du Voyageur organizers unveiled the lineup for their 44th annual event.

This year, the festival will happen from Feb. 15 to 24.

The 10-day event will feature a pea soup competition, a beard-growing contest, and fiddling and jigging workshops.

Julien Desaulniers, the festival’s artistic producer, said he wanted the festival to have a range of music.

He said he chose French acts that are "really vibrant on stage."

"I think music can speak to anyone, so as long as people go to the shows, they’ll enjoy them," he said.

"Music is a universal language, so it doesn’t really matter what the language is."

Top musical acts performing at the festival will include indie-pop band Imaginary Cities, singer-songwriter Don Amero and Acadian performer Lisa Leblanc. Executive director Ginette Lavack Walters said the festival has developed an iPhone application for people to check out details.

She said the festival worked with a Montreal-based company that also created the iPhone app for the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and estimated it cost about $5,000 to develop.

"We knew we had to go there. Other festivals have got apps," she said.

"Everyone is (using) mobile devices all the time."

Desaulniers said he was pleased with lining up indiepop band Imaginary Cities to play at the festival.

Its members, Rusty Matyas and Marti Sarbit, opened for the Pixies in 2011, and will be at the festival on Feb. 17.

"They’re probably the biggest rock stars in Winnipeg right now, as far as I’m concerned," he said.

"I actually saw them at Lollapalooza this summer, so that had a lot to do with it as well, and I saw what they could do in front of a large crowd, 3,000-plus people, and I said I just had to have them for the festival."

Local hip-hop band the Lytics will also perform.

"I wanted to make it a little different and bring in some hip-hop...," said Desaulniers. "I thought they’d be the perfect fit."

Information on the festival is available in French at heho.ca, or in English at festivalvoyageur.mb.ca/festival- du-voyageur

About 100,000 people are expected to visit the festival this year, organizers said.

 

Until this Friday, 10-day passes cost $23 for adults, and $13 for youths who are 13 to 17 years old. It’s $8 for children. After Friday, prices increase to $25 for adults, $15 for youths, and $10 for children.

 

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 16, 2013 a2

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