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Koi Fest at the Parking Lot Announces Festival Date and Artist Line-up

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We are very excited to formally announce the launch of KOI Fest At The Parking Lot. Since KOI Music Festival first originated six years ago the festival circuit in Southern Ontario has become extremely competitive and crowded.  Many festivals had a challenging 2015 and KOI Music Festival was no different.  KOI founders, Cory and Curt Crossman have since recognized that they can no longer take on the massive undertaking alone. The Centre has presented KOI Music Festival with the opportunity to collaborate and create a new music festival with KOI Fest roots. This new creation is KOI Fest At The Parking Lot.

KOI Music Festival and Centre In The Square identify the creation and production of concerts and festivals in Kitchener-Waterloo to be a vital part of arts and culture in the area. This new partnership is a very exciting and promising way for both organizations to pursue their goal of presenting local talent and building the music scene in Kitchener-Waterloo. “The synergy between CITS and KOI works perfectly, meshing years of festival experience and a decade and a half of growing the local music scene with an organization that brings in top tier talent and culturally important productions to our region” says Curt Crossman.

Showcasing 14 local and internationally recognized bands on two separate stages on the Centre In The Square premise, KOI Fest At The Parking Lot is not just another event but rather a vehicle to revitalize the underserved young audience.  The festival offers a real chance to enjoy music with great production and an emphasis on the artist. This festival is looking to provide a unique platform to grow local talent in a progressive, innovative, and organic way while also featuring award winning artists.

 

KOI Fest At The Parking Lot takes place Sat, 25 June @ 12PM – 10.30PM
Location: Centre In The Square’s parking lot
Stage A and Garage VIP is 19+
Stage A Tickets: $69.50 + applicable fees
Garage VIP Tickets: $125 + applicable fees
Stage B: Free to all ages

 

Artist Line-up:

Sam Roberts BandHeadliner

Tokyo Police Club
The Strumbellas
Hannah Georgas
Kalle Mattson
Ria Mae
Poor Young Things
Teen Violence
Ivory Hours
Le Trouble

More of the line-up is to come, stay tuned!  Set times to be announced.

Festival Pre-Sale*: Thursday, March 3 @ 10AMTuesday, March 10 @ 10AM
Festival OnSale: Thursday, March 10 @ 10AM

 

The Parking Lot is a new initiative from Centre In The Square that transforms their outdoor space into a festival venue.  General Manager Rob Sonoda says, “The Parking Lot is an exciting new venture and creates new opportunities for community partnership and revenue generation that previously weren’t an option for Centre In The Square. The opportunities are endless with this new venue and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”

Album News

Chris Ostler Unleashes Electrifying New EP ‘CO2’

Chris Ostler is back with a bang, releasing his latest EP titled CO2, a follow-up to his highly acclaimed CO1 album.

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Chris Ostler

Renowned British musician Chris Ostler is back with a bang, releasing his latest EP titled CO2, a follow-up to his highly acclaimed CO1 album. Packed with funk-rock anthems and heartfelt messages, CO2 showcases Ostler’s signature blend of high energy, emotion, and captivating storytelling. Proudly neurodivergent, Chris wishes to help others, using music to make a positive difference in the world. Chris’ autism only serves to enhance the way he writes and plays.

CO2 delivers a dynamic collection of funk-rock tracks that resonate with sincerity and power. Building on the success of his recent singles like ‘Funk in the Trunk,’ ‘The Sun & The Moon,’ and the introspective ‘Anxious Boy,’ the EP introduces three new addictive offerings: ‘Open Road,’ ‘Who Knows,’ and ‘Jam it up Muso.’ plus an acoustic release of ‘The Sun & The Moon’. Each track is infused with Ostler’s vocal prowess and passion, accompanied by electrifying guitar riffs that leave listeners craving more.

Ostler’s songwriting prowess shines through in CO2, offering listeners a glimpse into his raw emotions transformed into beautiful chords and choruses. From the romantic personification in ‘The Sun & The Moon,’ capturing the struggle of distant souls yearning to be together, to the earnest sincerity of ‘Jam it up Muso,’ with its funky-rock vibe and harmonious guitar melodies, each song on the EP resonates with authenticity and depth.

Ostler states, “I want to share with listeners and help them relive the immensity and power of life itself; we have so many emotional experiences, some amazingly positive, and of course, some challenging, but through music we can collectively support each other and enjoy the beauty of everything we experience. If we’re writing our own melodies of life, let’s make them as colourful as possible.”

Hailing from Exeter, Chris Ostler has captivated audiences nationwide with his charismatic presence and lively performances. His talent has earned him the privilege of opening for international artists like Joan Armatrading and Chris Barron (Spin Doctors). Supported by BBC Radio stations across the UK, including Devon, Leicester, and BBC Introducing Southwest, Ostler continues to make waves in the music industry with his electrifying sound and heartfelt storytelling.

Chris Ostler "CO2" album artwork

Chris Ostler “CO2” album artwork

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Country

Buckstein Premieres His Good-Time Single, “Ride with You”

Country artist Buckstein wants you to have a good time with the premiere of his fun-loving new single “Ride with You.”

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Buckstein, photo by Jason Myers
Buckstein, photo by Jason Myers

Out of all the major genres of American music, Country is the one that’s just as much a lifestyle as it is a genre; just ask our featured artist Buckstein, and he’ll tell you. Today, the singer-songwriter reveals his new single, “Ride with You.” He has been a lifelong loyalist to the Country sound and way of life, and “Ride with You” gives you a good indication of that.

It’s more than just a country tune, though, with its heavy guitar-driven approach. It’s certainly a good-time kind of tune, one that would play well at a Country bar. Imagine a live band and plenty of drinks being shared amongst friends. Buckstein refers to himself as a man of country music, and it’s that down-to-earth, free-flowing attitude that makes him so easy to like.

Discussing his new single, Buckstein tells us:

“‘Ride With You’ invokes the feeling of a buzzing, neon-soaked bar where you’re two beers too deep and still gunning for more. It’s a night out where anything can happen, and you never know where you’re going to wind up. You might lose yourself in a scene, or someone, or a song.

“After writing a few lyrics, we decided we wanted a constant ‘chant’ in the song and ‘find a little love in the haystack’ came out of the blue, but it sounded good so it stuck. I also get to play a bit of a character in this tune which was super fun for me. I’m really looking forward to bringing that to the live performance.”

Straight up, no-nonsense, and 100 percent authentic, Buckstein keeps true to the cowboy code he grew up with. He views Country as a way to communicate, a medium to speak the truth and build a strong sense of community. His ultimate goal is to bring soul to everything he does, a passion that is easy for his listeners to relate to. Buckstein’s music is structured around classical ideals like honesty, integrity, facing your fears, and love. These are universal values that help make him more appealing than just an artist.

One of the best decisions Buckstein ever made was to join a few friends at an American Idol audition. It was when the auditions made their way through his native city of Denver. He didn’t take it very seriously at the time, but he ended up getting through and made it onto the show. He made it as far as the finale of the show’s fifth season. That decision to tag along for the audition was a life-changing move. The success and confidence he derived from being on the show have led him to this point today. Buckstein has paid his dues and nicely set himself up as one of the brightest young names in Country today.

Buckstein “Ride with You” single artwork

Buckstein “Ride with You” single artwork

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Alternative/Rock

Letters Sent Home Release New Single “Ignorance” (feat. Sumner Peterson)

On February 19th, German quartet Letters Sent Home released their newest single, “Ignorance,” featuring Dead Lakes vocalist Sumner Peterson.

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Letters Sent Home, photo by Jana Boese
Letters Sent Home, photo by Jana Boese

On February 19th, German quartet Letters Sent Home released their newest single, “Ignorance,” featuring Dead Lakes vocalist Sumner Peterson via SharpTone Records off their upcoming debut album Forever Undone.

The band said of the latest release:

“‘Ignorance’ represents the frustration and helplessness of young people regarding the climate crisis. At the same time, it is begging the people in power to start working with us to try and save the planet.”

Recently, Letters Sent Home announced their debut album, Forever Undone, set to be released on April 12 via SharpTone Records. The album features new single “Ignorance” as well as recently released singles “Request Denied,” “Elements,” and “I Hope I Die First,” alongside seven new, ambitious tracks.

Vocalist Emily Paschke said of the of the upcoming record:

“We have been told that people mostly like our music due to relatability and personality in our songs. We believe to have pushed this to an extreme, for this album is as personal as it could possibly get. I am truly nervous about some of these songs being heard by certain people but writing this album has been very therapeutic in the way that I finally started dealing with stuff I have been consciously and subconsciously ignoring for the past years.”

Across three well-received EPs of “sad, hard music,” the German quartet has made their name as a band that match infectious melody and huge choruses with the lyrical depth and heart of people with a lot to say.

Letters Sent Home ‘Forever Undone’ album artwork

Letters Sent Home ‘Forever Undone’ album artwork

Forever Undone Track Listing:

1. Earthquake
2. Request Denied
3. Ignorance
4. Pedestal
5. Elements
6. Hysteria
7. Seven
8. Gaslight
9. Sadists
10. Final Battle
11. I hope I die first.

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