MEGAPHONO 2016: Putting Local Talent on the Music Map

By Elly Laberge — Thu, 28/01/2016 - 10:43

Just like Montréal has its M pour Montréal showcase, Ottawa has now found an equivalent to call its own. MEGAPHONO, back for a second year, has positioned itself as a festival celebrating Ottawa-Gatineau and Eastern Ontario music that puts local artists center stage to get them heard on a larger scale. Happening from February 2 to 5, 2016 this latest edition will feature 60 artists in 18 venues across the city and is set to welcome 30 music industry delegates from as far as The Netherlands.

As festival director Jon Bartlett puts it, "MEGAPHONO is about getting the right people in the room to see our artists. The best way to tell the story of Ottawa music is to drag industry folks here to see and hear it for themselves." There’s certainly no doubt about it: Canada’s National Capital Region boasts artistic talent and its music scene has been burgeoning like never before. Still, the region finds it challenging to get the word out about its rich and diverse musical community. And that’s where an event like MEGAPHONO comes in. By highlighting the region’s crème de la crème to music influencers, the idea is to help propel local and emerging talent to a national and international level. From newcomers like Chérie to veterans of the scene like The Acorn, the 2016 installment will serve a mixed bag of bands representing a large spectrum of genres with the exception of metal and hardcore, which are underrepresented, perhaps due to their underground and niche nature. Heavier music aside, festival-goers and delegates can expect to take in quality live music and top-notch performances.

On top of the solid artistic lineup announced, festival organizers are also offering panels, networking opportunities and a film screening for Terminal Device, directed by Toss Turnbull, edited by Meg Remy of U.S. Girls and featuring a soundtrack by Slim Twig.

Ottawa may not be one of the leading live music cities in the world (yet), but it’s sure as heck vibrant and unique and filled with passionate people who are set on helping the scene grow.  MEGAPHONO’s love for local and emerging music knows no boundaries, and neither should national and international delegates in search of new talent.

February 2 to 5, 2016
Various venues in Ottawa
More details here.

Photo: Mehdi Cayenne performing live at Pressed Café as part of the inaugural MEGAPHONO Festival.
Photo credit: Ming Wu

Check out Elly's blog Eventful Capital here.

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