An Interview with ’77 Montreal Fest Creator Dan Webster

1977 was a killer year for music, and that is honored by ’77 Montreal Fest up in Montreal, Canada. This punk till your drop festival pulls together generations of punk artists for a day of fun. New Noise Magazine caught up with the creator, Mr. Dan Webster and had a conversation about music and putting together a festival .

When did you realize that this festival needed to happen?

When we realized that Punk now spanned 3 generations it made sense to put together something celebrated the legacy. Also, since we no longer have the Warped Tour coming to Montreal and there was a need for a big summer gathering of the nations.

We do a lot of “punk” events which can be described across a broad spectrum, from old vintage Punk, to electro-thrash, to goth, to to 90’s, punk grunge, ska, psychobilly, noise, etc…

Having one banner to unite all of those diverse sounds helps us reach out to all who may be interested.

This year’s lineup is incredible, how does putting together a lineup work, and specifically how excited are you for this year’s?

After last years success, we all met and talked about what was possible. Everyone was very excited to get to work on 2018. We all had our pet projects to go out and bring in. Its a team effort and also an exercise in flexibility and compromise to bring together the final product. I can say that we are all thrilled to get to this level of quality and diversity for one day event.

What is your favorite part about running a festival?

For myself I will say my favourite part of this is meeting up with old friends in the Marche Aux Punks and having a laugh at the memories that are recalled because of some old posters or photos. Last year I found myself giving guided tours of the exhibits. I expect I will be doing that again this year.

What behind the scenes actions are the most strenuous that attendees never even think about?

I am sure the all of the team members have there own challenges. I think in this day and age to reach people through plethora of digital and old school channels. We all seem to have different preferences for instagram or facebook or we try to stay off line. If I was trying to find No Policy fans its a challenge since they haven’t played in 30 years. If we are reaching out Rezillos fans, they were popular in the late 70’s and early 80″s but they have new releases and have influenced many bands from different waves of punk and alternative scenes so there are pockets of fans everywhere. We try to leave no stones unturned and find the fans. It can be a lot of work.

What are some Montreal bands that everyone should be checking out right now?

On the fest we have Pussy Stench and hopefully some great new discoveries from the 77 new band contest. I really like the new Grimskunk release. Artist I have seen lately that are cool are MAASAI, Barrelheads, and I really like the Eardrum Buzz series at Barfly(montreal) as there is always something fresh.

What is it about the culture of punk that brings your community together?

I would hope that it’s the DIY approach and lack of rules and hopefully the lack of pretense. I see myself as belonging to the broader arts community and the punk approach is a subset of that.

Any last words?

Enjoy the fest! See you in the Marche Aux Punx!

’77 Fest

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