Gridlock Festival 2016 Preview

For all of you music festival-goers who are looking for your summertime fix, this is for you. Halifax was long overdue for an indie music-filled festival under the sun, and here it is. Gridlock Festival is in its inaugural year, and will be showcasing a stellar line-up of bands and comedic acts all throughout the weekend of July 8th, 9th, & 10th. The festival will feature our locally-tested talent, such as bands like Wintersleep, Vogue Dots and Beauts, with bands from across Canada, Wolf Parade, Peach Kelli Pop, TR/ST, and from a Merica, American Football, DIIV, and Baths. There will also be a couple of all-ages shows happening in venues around the local area, and comedic acts such as Ian Black, Matt Braunger, Megan McDowell, and Casey Ley will be there too.

The pioneers of the festival who have brought all of these bands together have been supporting the Halifax music scene for years, promoting our local talent, and bringing big acts to Halifax. This summer, they’ve partnered up with Atlantica Hotel to give discount room rates, Stillwell for our alcohol beverage needs, and Ace Burger for their award-winning burgers on the festival site, which is 1855 Trollope Street, near downtown Halifax, on the grounds of Spatz Theatre/Citadel High School. There will also be numerous vendors on the site that will provide an assortment of services. Gridlock is also bottled water-free, but will provide numerous free water and cup stations throughout the festival grounds. You’ll be in good hands with the organizers of this festival. It’s gonna be a fun filled weekend, here’s our preview of bands who will be playing at the festival this year…


I think one of my favourite things about going to a festival of this nature is discovering the wide variety of diverse music acts. Before this festival became to surface, I was unfamiliar with the band DIIV, (also known as Dive). Upon the release of their latest album “Is The Is Are”, I was instantly hooked with their sonic atmospheric sound. It’s definitely a good listen for all you daydreamers who just want to get lost in a band’s music. This is my personal pick for a must-see band at Gridlock Festival.


Gridlock Festival also sparks the return of Halifax’s Wintersleep, with their critically-acclaimed latest release, “The Great Detachment”. It’s no secret why we always recommend them, as they’ve proven time and time again that they know how to rock a show and get the crowd going. If you are like me, and have trouble staying up into the late hours of a show, this is the band to see to get your adrenaline going, to get your second wind of the night; but to also find yourself drowned in their melodic sound toward the end of their set. A good way to close out the first night of the festival.

American Football

There was this band in the 90s that played some good mellow rock tunes, cut a few demos, released a memorable rock album, and suddenly disappeared, and that band was American Football. This is the kind of band that you got into one summer after high school, with some close friends at your uncle’s cabin. You shared laughs, went on fishing trips, and had wild bonfires. Those moments you wished would last forever, but are all just a memory from that one summer. And that’s the feeling I get from this band, and a very memorable self-titled album that is just waited to be reheard this summer at the Gridlock Festival.

Lower Dens

I remember seeing this band back in 2015, when they played another summer festival out in Toronto. The lead singer, Lower Dens, poured his emotion on the mic, and made for a memorable performance on that night. And, I love it when bands give it their all, and I look forward to seeing them again. Since then I’ve listened to their last year’s release, “Escape From Evil”, one of my favourites of 2015. Gridlock, kudos to you for bringing this band to Halifax.

Peach Kelli Pop

Peach Kelli Pop is the kind of band you find coming out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, a very quirky punk-rock group that is memorable, and is fast to get you off your ass and start dancing. From the list of stand-out chick vocal-lead groups such as Best Coast and Alvvays who share an upbeat catchy rhythm, Peach Kelli Pop is a group that stands out on their own. Surfs up, beach balls and high fives! Out of the diverse line-up of bands that you’ll catch at the Gridlock Festival, this will be my go-to band for some great fun.

This is just a taste of whats to come at Gridlock Festival, that will be happening on the following weekend. Be sure to mark the 8th, 9th, and 10th of July on your calendar. You know I have. For more information including line-up, schedule, and the latest news, check out the Gridlock Festival website @

Also, stick around to HAFILAX dot com, as we will be catching all the action from the first chord played, up until the mic drops. We will be covering the festival, and flooding your Twitter feed, and social media on the Facebooks.

About the author


Me, I'm an avid music goer, documenting/photographing Halifax's music scene. I like loud shows, and long walks on the beach.