“It’s about the homeless. Nothing more, nothing less.”
That, in a nutshell, is the slogan and modus operandi behind Blank-Fest, a growing network of independent music festivals held in Canada, the U.S. and England designed to obtain blankets to keep the homeless warm.
Most recently, Alberta became the newest addition to the network via November 5th’s Blank-Fest Calgary, held at the Blind Beggar Pub, which raised nearly $1000, 200 blankets and some winter clothing for the city’s homeless shelter, The Mustard Seed.
The 12-hour marathon festival got underway at 2 p.m., and featured a dozen rock and metal bands from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, including Stampede Six, Grime House, Stella and Dreams Of Reason. The 10 participating acts also donated a track to the compilation album, Blank-Fest Calgary – Vol. 1 – It’s About The Homeless; Nothing More, Nothing Less, available for free download at www.blankfest.bandcamp.com
"I am overwhelmed at the success of our very first Blank-Fest Calgary,” stated organizer Leanne Harrison in a press release. “I am so proud of the Indie Music community and their fans in Calgary for bringing it out, rocking it out and giving to those that are going to have an extremely long winter.”
While the Calgary beneficiary was Mustard Seed, a non-profit organization that operates three centers across Alberta to deliver such basic services as housing and employment programs to the less fortunate, this benefit concert series has grown substantially — even internationally — since the first one was held in Nyack, NY back in 1997.
Organized by NYC rocker The Baghdaddios’ frontman Kenn Rowell, Blank-Fest has collected over 5900 donations in locations such as Garwood, New Jersey; Nottingham, England; Guelph, Ontario; Racine, Wisconsin; Lake City, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Ottawa, Ontario and Quebec.
Harrison says plans are underway to organize a second Calgary Blank-Fest to be held in November 2012.Air Max 1