Pouzza Fest Day 1

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War On Women @ Pouzza Fest 2019

Poutine or Pizza?  Which do you identify with more?  Can’t decide? Put them together and you have Pouzza

Pouzza Fest is not really about junk food.  It’s about getting together and listening to good music.  

One could argue that Punk music was the birth of a generation of musicians.  The DIY attitude inspired many to pick up an instrument and create a band.

This is not all Mohawks and safety pins.  It’s multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-generational (from babies to grandparents).  It’s a family that doesn’t judge a book by its cover, but by its music.

Women In The Scene

The Festival started with a panel called Women In The Scene.
Anlin Fan (Vocalist – Xiao Wang 小王)
Jennie Cotterill (Lead vocalist – Bad Cop Bad Cop)
Jordan Joyes (Singer/songwriter – Gallows Bound)
Liz Imperial (Founder of Bucketlist Music Reviews)
Melanie Kaye (Malanie Kaye PR)
Nancy Ross (Head of Operations for Greenland Productions)
Valerie Knox (Lead Guitar – Anti-Queens)

All-Female band?  Female Fronted band?  We don’t say All-Male band or Male fronted band, so why focus on gender.  It’s about talent, period.

Sadly, women in music are not treated with the respect they deserve.  It’s still a thing when it shouldn’t be.

Bad Cop Bad Cop

They spoke about the challenges of creating change.  

A great tip was to start with language.  Using the slang for the female reproductive system to describe someone who is weak…NO!  

Respect for others can start with language and showing boundaries.  

The problem at shows is that fans may be genuinely interested in the band, but because of inebriation or sheer excitement, they might not respect an artist’s personal space.  Some might overstay their welcome at the merch booth while the artist wants to interact with others as well.  

The lesson, whether it’s about protecting your personal space or even speaking out about what you stand for was this:  You need to respect yourself if you are to respect others.

If you feel uncomfortable, make it known.  

They also spoke about unsafe environments at gigs and the responsibility of promoters, venues and staff to properly protect everyone.  

Our moderator, Michelle Ayoub, co-owners of Turbo Haus spoke about their no A-Hole policy and free tampons…which was actually a dude’s idea.  Men, women and everything in between…if you are creeping people out…you are out!

Anti-Harassment Seminar with Q&A

Shawna Potter – Making Spaces Safer

The panel was followed by a 10-minute presentation by Shawna Potter (Lead singer – War On Woman) who spoke about actionable things you can do when you see discrimination or abuse at a gig.

Referring to tips from her book:  Making Spaces Safer – A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather.

The 5 D’s of Intervention:

Direct:  This would be confronting the harasser.  It may be to say something like:  “That’s inappropriate!” 

This can be risky and can escalate the issue, so personal safety would be of utmost importance.  Use with caution.

Distract:  Get in between the harasser and the victim and ignore what is going on.  Complement them or say something completely random.  The purpose is to put some space between the two people involved and give the victim an out.  

It’s not as aggressive, but can still be dangerous, so again, caution is needed.

Delegate:  Find someone and ask for assistance. It may be the manager, a teacher, security.  Before calling 911, it’s important to check with the victim…they might not want to go that route.

Delay:  This is the easiest one to do.  It’s safe and can be very effective.  After the event, speak to the victim and ask them if they are OK.  Ask if they need help in any way.  If you documented the incident, ask if they might want a copy. 

Document:  First, assess your own safety.  If you feel safe, record the incident. State the time and date while filming. Try to take in landmarks so the location can be determined afterwards.  Keep the video steady, with at least 10-second shots during the important scenes.    

What you do with it afterwards is important.  Never post something on social media without the victim’s consent.  It might go viral and make the victim relive the situation once it’s public.

In the end, the point was that you first need to worry about your own safety, but if you can help without getting hurt, do it. At least now, you have a few techniques to use.

Lost Love

The Grounds

Various vendors were invited, including Fat Wreck Chords were I picked up the Acoustic Face to Face album.  Stomp was also representing the music scene.

Speaking of Face to Face, Red Bridge Fest had a booth with a couple of planned Face To Face shows.  Acoustic set in Quebec City on the 6thof June, 2019.  Red Bridge Fest is in Quebec City June 7-9th, 2019. Montreal will have the event on the 9thof June, 2019 at Club Soda.

Beau’s craft brews were available on the grounds, including cider from McKeown. Bone Dry Ginger is my favorite. 

Food trucks were available.  The Poutine was featured, and I finally saw the Pouzza!

The Pouzza
The Pouzza

The Music

The main stage is FREE.  There is no excuse to miss good live music!

Expert Timing started the outdoor live music to an empty field, but it didn’t take long for people to gather closer to the front to get this thing started.

It was getting quite chilly, so I checked out Foufs to see who was playing.  I just missed the band Cold Wrecks playing the garage stage but caught a song or two of L’Affaire Pélican.  I loved their Star Wars-inspired t-shirts.  They had a fairly good crowd for the afternoon.

Bad Cop Bad Cop

Back to the main outdoor stage to catch a very energetic set by Bad Cop Bad Cop.  Jennie was part of the panel earlier in the day. They shined on the stage.    

Fat Mike signed the band a week after seeing them perform.  He can recognize talent.

Against Me!

Against Me! seems to have a crush on Montreal.  It was my first time seeing them live and I was impressed by the reaction of the crowd.  

It was one giant sing-along to some of the favorites.  Of the dozen songs they played, those that stood out were “Thrash Unreal” with everyone singing the “Ba ba ba” background part.  

“I Was a Teenage Anarchist” which was stuck in my head the next day.  

Others shows are scattered throughout the area at various venues such as Foufs, Katacombes, Théatre Sainte-Catherine, Turbo Haus, Café Cléopatra.  We checked out Foufs to catch a little of Fire Next Time’s set of Folk Punk.  

War On Women

I was only going to catch two or three songs from War on Women, but they were so captivating, I caught the whole set.  

Shawna shared the spotlight with her exploding dancing hair.  

For “Swagger”, some from Bad Cop Bad Cop joined them onstage, including Rinh Re who was very effective on the “One single day.  One single day with nothing” part of the song.


Day one started with a great panel on Women in The Scene, and it was nice that there wasn’t a “women” showcase.

The Jardin des Bières area for the free shows is great, although the bathroom lines can get quite long at times.  I would like to see a few more plastic relief stations.  

Bring the family, bring the kids, especially early afternoon which is dedicated to them.

See you on Day 2!       

Fire Next Time

Day 2 coverage HERE
Day 3 coverage HERE

Review – Randal Wark
Photos – Kieron Yates

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