Up Here festival has always liked to do things a little differently, but they had to pivot pretty hard (as did everyone else) thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Normally, Up Here features a variety of surprise popup concerts in unusual locations that are announced through its app and on social media.
Well, those popup shows continue this year — just without any people.
Sponsored by RBC, the Pop-Up Sessions will be released on YouTube daily starting today, Aug. 13, to Aug. 18, featuring “intimate performances by folk songstress Julie Katrinette, indie-rocker Melanie St-Pierre, Juno-nominated electronic artist Bryden Gwiss, rapper and singer Jor’Del Downz, Peruvian-Canadian powerhouse Patricia Cano and crust punks Salted Wounds.”
The locations will be revealed as the sessions are released on the festival's Facebook and YouTube channels so make sure to follow Up Here on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, or download the Up Here app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
“With live events currently on pause, the creative community is in need of support now more than ever,” said Scott Simon, regional vice president for RBC. “This year’s Up Here festival is an amazing example of committed people working to fill that void, to help bring exposure to Sudbury and local talented artists. We’re excited that the RBC Pop-Up Sessions featuring emerging Northern Ontario musicians will bring us together, even while we’re apart.”
So who’s performing in these virtual concerts?
First up is Julie Katrinette, the folk-country infused solo project of local songstress, Julie Houle. “Having stockpiled a collection of heartbreak songs, she is ready to offer them up as a musical letting go of sorts,” Up Here said.
Katrinette performs live today at 2 p.m. from the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre in Capreol. You can check out the show by clicking here.
The other shows will be announced daily so keep your eye on social media and make sure notifications are turned on.
Melanie St-Pierre of the Casper Skulls performs solo. “(As St-Pierre) gears up to release her sophomore record with the force that is Casper Skulls, she has been hard at work on a self-reflective journey.”
Local Juno Award-nominee Bryden Gwiss melds traditional Indigenous music with hip-hop to create something wholly his own. “(Gwiss) has grown up on the pow wow trail: learning songs, drum teachings, and dancing Men’s Traditional Style for over 30 years. His music fuses traditional pow wow songs with modern hip-hop production.” Gwiss was nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the Junos in 2017. His new album, The Forgotten T.R.U.T.H. (The. Real. Un. Told. History), drops Aug. 17.
Sudburian Patricia Cano has earned numerous awards as a performer. This Peruvian-Canadian vocalist, songwriter and actor has performed around the world, from 18-member orchestra to a one-woman show. “If her smile alone doesn’t knock you off your feet, you can bet her voice will.”
Jor’Del Downz was born and raised in Sudbury and was blind until the age of four. He’s since gained back about 50 per cent of his sight, but we're not here to talk about that. While he didn't let his eyesight hold him back, he did make it part of the inspiration for his music. Take a listen and see for yourself.. “(He) seamlessly blends singing, rapping, percussion, and beat-making.”
Punk rock quartet Salted Wounds was born from the friendship and camaraderie of musicians from several bands: Rob Seaton of Statues, Andrée St-Onge of The Ape-ettes, and Adam Dempsey and Brady Middaugh from Skin Condition. “(They plumb) the depths of love, loss, and forgiveness. Taken with a grain of salt, these tunes burn a bit, but help the healing.”
Get fit with local gym teacher Jennifer Holub, who became known locally when she started releasing hilarious workout videos for kids last April right as the pandemic hit. “School’s out, but you can rock along with Ms. Holub this weekend in an Up Here exclusive interactive event on Saturday, August 15 at noon.”