Musicians wanted for Oshawa’s CONVERGENCE Art & Music Festival this September

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Published March 10, 2023 at 3:39 pm

Katie Munshaw of the Oshawa band Dizzy performs at the Juno Awards in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

Organizers are expecting a dynamic lineup of performers for September’s CONVERGENCE Art & Music Festival in downtown Oshawa.

Who, exactly is going to grace what Oshawa Tourism and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce hopes to be the first of a long-running event will be up to you as the portal is now open for performers and bands to express their interest in being part of the festival .

CONVERGENCE is set to illuminate the downtown on Saturday, September 23 with “mind-bending experiences of art and spectacle combined with pulse-pounding, culturally rich music.”

Musicians will be a big part of a dynamic lineup that hopes to attract more than 10,000 visitors at the main stage, activations and partnered venues.

Krista Licsi, who heads up Oshawa Tourism, said at the festival’s ‘soft’ launch last year the focus will be Canadian bands with plenty of local talent and they also will be looking to attract some big-name performers to bring in the crowds. As many different types of music as they can find will also be important, she added.

“We hope to have genres that speak to our entire community,” she said.

The vibe of the festival will be not unlike Supercrawl in Hamilton and the Peterborough Music Festival, which attracted crowds of 250,000 and 135,000, respectively, in pre-pandemic times.

“We’re looking to take elements from those festivals (and) mix music and culture to create a really cool experience in the downtown,” she explained. “Oshawa is the musical hub of the region and we see this as a great opportunity to help drive the tourist economy in Durham Region.”

The plan is to close off King Street between Simcoe Street and Mary Street in the heart of downtown, as the City does for Kars on King every year, with a stage at each end. Downtown music venues like the Biltmore Theatre and the Regent Theatre will be represented on the steering committee and will likely have complimentary activities planned around the event.

“We are home to a variety of vibrant live music and concert venues and music shops … and over the years Oshawa has raised a number of popular artists including Crown Lands, Dizzy, Lennon & Maisy, and Daniel Caesar,” Licsi said in a letter to Oshawa Council. “Oshawa IS the musical epicenter of Durham Region. The CONVERGENCE Music & Art Festival aims to leverage both local and Canadian artists and performers in a unique and genre-bending festival experience designed to illuminate the downtown core and drive resident and visitor occupancy in local businesses.”

To be considered for the 2023 lineup, musicians can upload their application to www.convergenceoshawa.com/callformusicart until April 30. Only those being considered will be contacted.

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