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Local festival expands for Halloween

Fredericton’s spring music festival, Flourish, will be hosting a three-day Halloween themed event called Perish this weekend from Thursday to Saturday. The event is designed to showcase musicians and artists at local Fredericton venues and businesses.

Flourish Festival debuted this April featuring visual artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers, bringing local arts hype to a new season for the city.

Jane Blanchard is the organizer and started the festival as part of a leadership project for UNB. Originally only supposed to be a one-day thing, it quickly turned into a three-day event with tickets selling out. Now it’s expanding to include the weekend of Halloween.

“The partners of Flourish and myself were looking for another way to bring attention to the arts and we thought Halloween would be perfect,” said Blanchard. “The bands we were talking to came up with some crazy ideas so it just made sense.”

The main venues for the event are the Capital Complex, ReNeu Boutique and Shiftwork, where there will be scary storytelling, all-ages shows, and music from more than a dozen bands including Tupper Ware Remix Party, Motherhood and Vogue Dots.

The New Brunswick Crafts Council will also be holding an event as part of Perish called Beer’n Stein at the Marilyn Mazzerole Gallery on Friday. There will be Picaroons beer, handmade crafts, a costume contest, and a silent auction. Knit goods, ceramics and handmade leather masks will be up for grabs.

Though Blanchard doesn’t know if Perish will bring out quite as many people as the spring festival, excitement for the Halloween themed event has been high nonetheless.

“I’m excited, a lot of the bands are excited, and so are our partners,” she said. “We’re expecting a good turn out and the Halloween aspect should make for a good time.”

Along with getting ready for Perish, Blanchard is already working on next April’s Flourish Festival. She’s working on setting up residencies for bands from across Canada to bring some new music to Fredericton.

Flourish also plans to incorporate a greater variety of artistic genres for next spring such as performance and written arts.

“Last year we mainly focused on musical and visual arts because that was easiest for me to set up, but next year we want to bring in as many different kinds as possible,” said Blanchard.

Unlike Flourish, Perish will not offer passes for the whole weekend, but cover from Saturday night’s show at the Capital will get you into an after party at a location yet to be announced.

Perish kicks off with a house party on Thursday at 467 York Street from 7-10 p.m. with the band Black Baron from Hamilton, O.N. and The Demand from Fredericton.

A complete schedule of events is available online at flourishfest.weebly.com.

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