Event Announcement // OBEY Convention XII – May 30th – June 2nd


With the warmth and brightness leaning into spring, we’re pumped to reveal the full line-up for OBEY XII, our 12th annual festival of free ideas in music and sound. This year’s instalment promises four days of carefully curated programming set to push boundaries, encourage curiosity and bust apart any preconceptions.

This year features the Canadian premier of NYC’s piano-bending mystic Kelly Moran (Warp Records), junked trance duo 75 Dollar Bill, brutal UK rainbow rockers Guttersnipe, Toronto’s rising club punks Just John x Dom Dias, and veteran composer Mary Jane Leach‘s ethereal take on NYC downtown aesthetics. Vital White Mountain Apache violinist Laura Ortman is joining too, alongside Finnish-born Glaswegian dream-weaver Cucina Povera, chill-soul triple-threat Strange Froots, power-vocalist Soeur Acéphale, and Montreal bodygoths Dregqueen. We’re also featuring virtuosic kanun player Sanaz Nakhjavani, Sobey-nominated performance artist Bridget Moser, Strasbourg’s no-tempo beat psychic Slaylor Moon, meditative wave producer Nick Schofield, queer swamp chameleon Maskara, and Colombian new age duo Tamsaianka.

Of course, let’s not forget about our previously announced roster of DJ Haram, Eartheater, Tomoko Sauvage, Justice Yeldham, Mich Cota, Debby Friday, Korea Town Acid, The Brodie West Quintet, and OBEY’s inaugural composer-in-residence Nicole Rampersaud.

As always, we’re also hosting a number of exciting local acts. We’ve got post-hardcore darlings Frail Hands, rising R&B force Zamani, tweaked techno duo LizBrain x Doug, high energy emcee Tandra, tabla phenom Taral Naik, hieroglyphic Mi’kmaq poet Michelle Sylliboy (in a special collaboration with Lindsay Dobbin & Johnny Spence), ambient zonedripper Layia, dancer/ choreographer Cavell Holland and linchpin selector DJ Dentata.

We are also rolling out this year’s EverySeeker Symposium participants. Antiguan-Canadian poet Tanya Evanson will present her videopoem Bothism, Iranian academic Hadi Milanloo will offer a lecture on the rights and representation of women instrumentalists in Iranian classical music, and locals Nikki Alex Basset & Elyse Moir will host a zine launch for their collaborative zine entitled

Resilience Resonates (check out their call for submissions here).

Excited yet? Explore the line-up in more depth at www.obeyconvention.com

Schedule details and tickets to individual shows will go live April 18th. With 20+ events sequenced carefully across the weekend, OBEY Convention explores new modes of expression and ways of being together. Audience and artists work together in upholding the confounding communal values on which this unique festival has been founded: intensity, presence, confrontation, accessibility, innovation, education, transcendence and auditory onslaught. Partners for this year’s happenings include Halifax Public Libraries, The Khyber Centre For The Arts, The Eyelevel Gallery, The NSCAD Treaty Gallery and The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, among others.

A limited number of Festival Passes are on sale now. Passes guarantee you access to the entire festival; nothing overlaps, so the entire weekend unfurls like one wild, kaleidoscopic tone poem.

Join us this spring at the edges of everything!

Get your pass today.

It is with gratitude that we acknowledge the Khyber Centre for the Arts who are generously providing rehearsal space for the duration of Rampersaud’s residency. We also would like to thank The Halifax Regional Municipality, Arts Nova Scotia, The Province Of Nova Scotia, Canada Council For The Arts, and Heritage Canada for their support in pursuing this head-trip.

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.