By Tora Matys
Live music is coming back to Edmonton in August with the launch of the Together Again Concert Series, put together by Trixstar Productions. This is Canada’s first socially distanced concert, and it’s being held at the Northland’s Exhibition Lands.
Mike Anderson, President of Trixstar and NAIT Alumni (BBA ‘99), and his team have reimagined concerts and reconstructed them to be safe and socially distanced but still have the thrill of a live concert experience.
“The two biggest crash points of people gathering were the front of the stage, which we just eliminated by putting out tables. It’s going to have a hybrid feel of an ‘outdoor patio meets the jubilee auditorium’,” said Anderson.
“The other big part of any event is everyone wants to get a beverage at the bar. We also eliminated the bar, so people will be able to scan a barcode with their phone at the table and order their drinks, food or merchandise, pay right there and then, like 5 minutes later, it will show up at your table.”
So far, there have been seven official dates announced for the concert series with artists including Serena Ryder, Bif Naked, Our Lady Peace, and Dean Brody. Anderson will be announcing more shows each week, and he plans to have a concert every day during the month of August.
“There’s a lot of diversity [in the concert lineup]. Our intention was that we don’t want the same person to come each day. We want to make sure there’s a totally different fan. Because our capacity is limited, we thought, ‘okay…how can we get a different fan each day of the week and make sure it’s different from the night before’. We wanted to make sure we can give all Edmontonians a chance to experience their favourite artists,” said Anderson.
Anderson will also announce a comedy night in the near future.
Starting Friday, June 11th, concert-goers will be able to purchase tickets to reserve a table for either two, four or six people.
“We got 1,200 tables across the site. We bought up every table across the country at every Costco, and they’re being shipped to Edmonton as we speak,” said Anderson.
With the Edmonton community near and dear to Anderson’s heart, he has arranged for a portion of ticket sales to go to Boyle Street and Hope Mission.
“This show was built with the idea of second chances, and the second chance of being able to gather again, enjoy [concerts] again and not taking it for granted. So we thought it was very important that with every ticket purchased, two dollars goes towards supporting Boyle Street and Hope Mission. They deal with our most vulnerable population, and they need that support and that second chance,” said Anderson.
“We missed having our fans and putting stuff together for them, but we also missed having our comrades, and the artists, the technicians,[…]. We are going to bring over 500 hundred people back to work for August.”
Alberta’s own Dan Davidson and his band will be performing Sunday, August 22, along with Dean Broady, The Road Hammers, and Alee.
“[The concert] is going to be amazing. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve got to spend an extended amount of time with my band, so on a personal front, it feels great. It’s both entirely exciting and a little scary because, honestly, no artist has played at all. So we have to get back into it and try and rehearse what we can,” said Davidson
“I’m taking it as a personal challenge to come up with something that is different from what I did in 2019. I don’t want to come back to this new opportunity to play again and play the same show. I’ve been working on a set and updating my game a little bit.”
Davidson mentioned his latest single released in May, “Roll with it”, will be making the bill. The song came about during the pandemic while he was working on other songs with The Road Hammers and now is currently sitting in the top 20 in Australia.
“We’ve never played [Roll with it] live before, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to actually hear it on the big speakers,” said Davidson
As many other bands have been, Davidson is itching to get back on stage and perform for fans again, even in a slightly different setting.
“[The concert] is almost symbolic. It’s the kick-off to return to normalcy. As much as I’ve loved being able to dive into the creative side of things and grow my skills as a producer and songwriter […], there’s just something magical about playing those songs, and it’s almost addictive.”
For more information, the full line ups, or to reserve a table, visit TogetherAgainYEG.