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RSVP your regrets to that wedding: Up Here lineup is out

Check out the musical and artistic guest list for the Aug. 18-20 festival
Canadian rock band Braids is one of the headliners at this year’s Up Here Urban Art and Emerging Music Festival. (Supplied)

Save the date: Up Here returns to downtown Sudbury this summer from Aug. 18 to 20, and they already have a full lineup of muralists and the first wave of music that’ll be echoing off all those freshly painted walls.

Up Here, known for its creation of new murals and the presentation of emerging artists, also has a limited number of all-access, entry-guaranteed passports to the ninth edition available. 

If you get one now, you’ll have plenty of time to RSVP your regrets to that wedding you were invited to — something better has come along.

No wedding singer — except maybe Robbie Hart — will pump you up like this year’s headliners, performing at Up Here Square and presented by Downtown Sudbury. 

For starters, Braids will romance you with their positively mesmerizing, dreamy art pop — backed by string ensemble. 

Then, anyone who came to Up Here 5 will be thrilled to hear Chicago’s Ric Wilson is returning with his unparalleled hip hop and an almost unbelievably energetic performance — fortunately he has time before his tour with Chromeo this fall. Did anyone mention he’s bringing a full band? Then, there’s more hip hop via Boogey The Beat, who blends traditional Indigenous songs with modern electronic beats. 

Debby Friday’s surreal electro-pop will take the stage with U.S. Girls’ experimental pop, making for the danciest night of the fest.

Other sweet sounds to look forward to include: Bibi Club’s living room party music;

NOBRO’s all-women punk from Montreal; drone rock from Canadian-Italian twin sisters Bonnie Trash; New York’s Gustaf and their danceable punk grooves; Elizabete Balčus’s Latvian electro-pop weirdo; Thunder Queens’ teen grrrl punk; Strange Attractor’s psychedelic garage punk; Super Plage’s franco-sexy electro-pop; myst milano’s genre-bending rap; Devours’ queer confessional bedroom pop anthems; Olivia Shortt’s Anishinaabe noise and performance art; Geneviève et Matthieu’s performance art … and more that will be revealed in the coming weeks.

On the visual side of things, the murals are slightly more curated than the average matrimonial Pinterest board. 

Nothing against rustic-chic and barnyard venues, but they just can’t compare to West Coast Métis artist Jean Paul Langlois’ cinematic, Western-meets-Sci Fi-meets-Sunday morning cartoon mural that’ll be appearing during the festival. 

And no bride will match the elegance of JUURI’s figure-driven work, blending Japanese folklore with contemporary street art. 

Then there’s Katie Green’s eerie but whimsical watercolour personas that somehow blend daintiness and grit, pleasure and pain, grief and joy in colourful smears that put any bouquet to shame. 

Yung Yemi is making his way north to give us one of his Afro-futuristic portraits that marry intersectional concepts and ideologies from pre-colonial times to present day, across regions, religions, and political lines. 

And finally, Sudburian-turned-Torontonian, Franco-Ontarian-Métis multidisciplinary artist Maxine Lemieux is bringing her fantastical world-building aesthetic home for the festival. 

The Power Up Project, a partnership with Greater Sudbury Hydro, is also back for another year, with a round of artists adding colour and excitement to utility boxes around the city. 

Some local names to keep an eye out for—or creep Instagram in search of—are: Pure Plastic, Art by Astronoht, DISANG, Downtown Oxygen, Mackenzie Roy, and Featureless Designs.

Like what you see and want to lock down a good time? Don’t forget to RSVP “coming” by grabbing your passport at

If you’re afraid of commitment, tickets to individual shows will be available later in June, but you might have to sit at the kids table.