Arts

Second annual music fest to raise money for Ottawa cancer fund

Courtesy of The Lionyls

Summer is gone, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop attending musical festivals. The University of Ottawa campus will host the second Everybody Love Everybody Fest (E.L.E) on Sept. 26, where a Juno nominee will take the stage among several local up-and-comers.

E.L.E Fest is best described as a large-scale, feel-good jam session which encourages acts of all genres to come together to create new music, promote Ottawa’s emerging talents, and raise money for a local charity.

One of the defining pillars of this festival is its live collaborative element. Co-founder Sean Callaghan says one of the festival’s main initiatives is to bring together artists from different genres to create something new. “This year we’ve got rappers, soul bands, rock bands, pop singers, and even beat-boxers collaborating together,” he says.

Callaghan says another big part of the event is that it’s meant to be more relaxed than others of similar scale. “We wanted to create an event that was not competitive in nature, one that musicians did not have to sell any tickets to their friends or family, and could simply come and perform in a more pressure-free environment,” he explains.

The headliner this year is hip-hop artist SonReal. The Vancouver-based rapper was the winner of the MuchFact video of the year award at the 2014 Much Music Video Awards (MMVA), for his single “Everywhere We Go.” He’s also garnered two Juno Award nominations and five other MMVA nominations.

Other performers include The Lionyls, City Fidelia, Zoo Legacy, and Eagleson, with the first two collaborating live onstage.

“E.L.E considers up-and-coming artists that may be overlooked by other music festivals, and (it) gives us the full-scale festival experience,” says Zach Raynor, a U of O graduate, former Gee-Gees football player, and lead singer of The Lionyls.

His band has lots of buzz lately as they compete in the semi-finals of the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot contest. Big opportunities like that and the E.L.E fest are crucial to getting his band’s name and music out there.

“Having played several shows like this, we are starting to create an actual fan base,” says Raynor. “For us, that’s really exciting. We’re gaining the experience and exposure we need to take our band to the next level. And it’ll give us credibility so that people in the industry will take us more seriously.”

The festival is free, but the organizers are encouraging donations to the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs of Ottawa. It’ll take place at 603 Cumberland St., outside Café Nostalgica, on Sept. 26 from 3 to 11 p.m.