By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Fallen Fest – an annual festival based in Vancouver crafted for the bands too heavy for the rock/indie rock scene and not heavy enough for the metal scene – held this year’s festival in an all-digital free livestream event on Feb. 13, 2021 through Facebook, Twitch and YouTube.
Artists that performed during the eight-hour spectacle included the likes of Fallen Stars, ReeVay, JC Townsend, Blood Of The Phoenix, Fear The Wolves, Hunting Giants, Shane Steward and many more.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Jade Weekes – bassist of Fallen Stars and member of Blood Of The Phoenix – who made Fallen Fest possible with her organization, Support The Scene – about this year’s festival and more.
Music Bugle – What directly inspired the idea for Fallen Fest 2021?
Jade Weekes – Fallen Stars had been applying to festivals and we had a hard time, because we were not heavy enough for all these straight metal festivals, but too heavy for all the other festivals. My birthday was coming up at the time and I decided, “FINE! I’LL MAKE MY OWN FESTIVAL!” and so, it began.
Music Bugle – What impact do you feel live events have on the music industry overall?
Jade Weekes – I think COVID has just proved how much we relied on live music to keep us sane, encourage us to get together and generally make our life better. I known that I love seeing music live instead of listening to an album because to me, that’s how music is supposed to be portrayed. Seeing someone up onstage, putting their heart into their performance, that to me, is something very special.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jade Weekes – From going to shows every weekend, taking photos, promoting bands every week, doing music videos, working with large bands who come to town… to not. Bands struggling meant that I had to change my work habits and dive into the digital realm and more content creation on my own.
Music Bugle – What were some challenges that went into creating an all-digital livestream concert?
Jade Weekes – Being a one-person team, you have to organize yourself to make sure everything gets done. The bands get booked, everyone gets communicated with, the poster gets made, the event gets created, the hosts get booked, etc. etc., etc. and if you don’t do it, no one else will! Luckily for Rock n Roll Pride this year, I have an amazing team helping me with it, so it will be in a good hands.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Jade Weekes – If a band doesn’t have a good social media presence, I instantly dismiss them. If you don’t have the know-how to make a good online presence, then work with someone who will help you with that. If you are just too lazy to post anything, then you are too lazy to put real effort into your craft. Be professional. Have a professional web presence. Make me want to book your band, instead of struggling to find details about it.
Music Bugle – What are your goals in 2021?
Jade Weekes – Prove that local music is alive and kicking! We are not invisible. We are here and working just as hard as ever to create music and art for people who enjoy it.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jade Weekes – I put on Spotify playlists and let them introduce me to new music. I’m constantly discovering bands, hitting that star and going and finding even more bands. Working with different people and different environments caused me to be exposed to new music, as well. I was working a few days at a Toy Store and was introduced to a lot of underground garage alt-pop and really dug the songwriting and vocal styles of them.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Jade Weekes – Trying to get people excited about music again. Last year, there were so many livestreams and the market was oversaturated and this year, people are burned out from wanting to listen to them. I want to get people excited again! Prove that it’s more than just someone sitting with an acoustic staring at a $20 webcam. This are full band performances, done with blood, sweat and tears, just like a real show!
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Jade Weekes – “I miss shows” is what everyone is saying and it makes me work hard everyday to get people’s music out there, work on my music, do the Support The Scene videos and keep the music alive for when we can all go back and enjoy live music. That quote is what drives me to want to create content that proves we are still making music.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Jade Weekes – Bands would share other bands’ material on their own page. You like a band’s new music? Then, share it with your fans. It’s not a competition. We are all here, creating something that should be shared. Expose your friends and fans to things that you’re stoked about! Don’t do it because you hope they will share your stuff back. Do it because you want to build the music community as a whole and that you enjoy music in your life.