All Posts By

Andrew Patterson

Call For Designer

  As we transition away from our former name and branding as OBEY Convention, we’re looking for a designer to help us realize a new visual identity for our organization. We’ve been undergoing an internal revisioning process and have identified ideas, adjectives, references and astrology-related themes from which to work. We’re now seeking someone to bring them to life!

Details after the jump…


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Public Update

It’s been an entire season since you’ve heard from us. In the spring, along with hosting our 12th annual festival, two major things happened with OBEY: we issued an apology in light of an event we hosted that caused harm to our community and made it known that, due to a cease and desist, we need to change our name. We’re offering updates here on what we’ve been up to since and how you can get involved.  Details after the jump!

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A long overdue and massive ~THANKS~ to all the artists this year who shared their work with us, to the audiences who offered their attention, to the volunteers who gave their time and energy, to the venues who opened their doors to us, to the sponsors who made it possible, to our incredible board and staff. The last(?) OBEY was a deep and wild ride. Here’s to the futurity and endlessness of curious listening!

Public Apology

On Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, as part of our 12th annual festival, we hosted an event called Gay Guerilla: Julius Eastman, featuring the work of the late artist Julius Eastman, a queer, black composer based primarily in downtown New York City until his passing in 1991. This event was lead by Mary Jane Leach, a composer, researcher and friend of Julius Eastman and was facilitated by Nivie from We Are Missing, a collaborative community project that aims to create QTBIPOC programming in K’jipuktuk.

This event caused direct harm to those involved, those in attendance and to the broader communities surrounding our organization, particularly QTBIPOC folks. We recognize and name this as an instance of anti-black racism. We accept full responsibility for this harm and intend to take measures of accountability and transparency moving forward, in hopes of honoring those who experienced violence as a result of our negligence. We sincerely apologize to all those who faced harm/violence as a result of OBEY’s choices in programming this event. We recognize that an apology without direct action and change is meaningless, and plan to move forward by naming the harm caused, working to offer support / healing and implementing structural changes to how we program in hopes of reducing further possibilities of harm.

Three sections follow: a summary of the event and harmful behavior as we currently understand it, statements around background and internal processes, admissions and failures, and finally our intentions / action plan moving forward.

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OBEY XII is here!

The portal is about to open! Our 12th annual festival of music and sound kicks off this Thursday. Most things you need to know are on this website, any changes / updates going forward will be communicated through social media. Here are some quick pointers for ya just in case:

  • Visit our online box office for advance tickets + passes
  • Physical tickets and passes available at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.)
  • Tickets at the door are CASH ONLY
  • All ticketed shows are PAY WHAT YOU CAN. No one is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Most of our events are FREE / All Ages
  • If you’re curious and not sure where to start, click around our artist pages or send us a message!
  • Detailed access notes to all venues are printed in our programme guide and in each FB event
  • We have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for any form of discrimination / violence / hate of any kind, including but not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, fatphobia, Islamophobia, ableism, ageism, sexual harassment and bullying. It is our intention to make events at our festival welcoming to all, including audience, staff, performers and volunteers. If at anytime you are made to feel unsafe, please let an employee or volunteer know. OBEY staff can be reached directly at 902-789-6239 (Andrew) or 514-554-6258 (Kat), or via e-mail at [email protected]. You will be heard and taken with the utmost seriousness!

See you in the fold / void!


Schedule + Tickets Live

Spring is peeking through the clouds on the Atlantic coast. Today we unveil the full schedule for OBEY XII, four days of new sounds and radical ideas. Head to our schedule page for an overview of the weekend. Everything before 6pm is FREE and open to ALL AGES. Evening and late night shows are ticketed on a PWYC basis at the door (cash only). Advance tickets for all events are live now, head to our online box office to scoop up a ticket and ensure entry. Or go all in and get a festival pass; nothing overlaps so with a pass, you can catch every single happening. See you this spring, at the edges of everything!

Full Line-Up and Poster Revealed!

After a long winter of work, we’re psyched to unveil the full line-up and poster for OBEY Convention XII: May 30 – June 2nd. So many incredible artists will be lending their unique voices to this four day celebration of new ideas and radical sounding. Head to our Artists Page for a deeper dive and get to know the folks who’ll be touching in to turn heads and blow minds. The full schedule and individual tickets are coming up April 18th. In the meantime, a limited number of Festival Passes are still available (passes guarantee you access to every single moment of the fest). And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date. Join us this spring at the edges of everything!

Call For Submissions – Resilience Resonates Zine

We’re excited to announce this most special project as part of this year’s EverySeeker Symposium. Nikki A Basset and Elyse Moir, a duo of Halifax-based educators, organizers and music lovers, are facilitating a collaborative zine project to be launched May 31st as part of OBEY XII. The intention behind Resilience Resonates, the zine in question, is to advocate for and offer a platform to femme, trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people within, throughout and around music communities. The duo are currently seeking contributions from folks all across the globe who identify as such.

If you’re interested in submitting something, we’ve got info on content, dimensions, guidelines and compensation after the jump!

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2nd Wave of Artists Announced for OBEY XII

Here it is: a 2nd wave of artists set to take part in our 12th annual festival, coming up May 30th – June 2nd. Amidst a history of left-field sounds and an ever-encroaching sphere of influence, this year marks one of our most bombastic, worldwide line-ups to date. Recent additions include NYC’s piano-bending mystic Kelly Moran, junked trance duo 75 Dollar Bill, brutal UK rainbow rockers Guttersnipe, Toronto’s rising club punks Just John x Dom Dias, Finnish-born Glaswegian dreamweaver Cucina Povera, veteran minimalist composer Mary Jane Leach and SO! MUCH! MORE!

Check out these artists and more on our festival page. Full passes to the weekend’s festivities are on sale via our Big Cartel. Catch an Early Bird price before midnite Tue March 12th. Passes guarantee you access to the entire festival; nothing overlaps, no industry trash. Join us this spring at the edges of everything!

Announcing Our 2019 Composer-In-Residence: Nicole Rampersaud

OBEY Convention’s voracious vision of sonic exploration means that it’s continually delving deeper, in search of new pathways through the musical underground. This year marks a noteworthy expansion with a brand-new composer-in-residence program. After considering a batch of curious and diverse applicants from across North America, we’re delighted to announce that free-jazz trumpeter and improv innovator Nicole Rampersaud has accepted the inaugural role. In the days leading up to the festival, Nicole will be collaborating with a select crew of local musicians to realize her vision. Rehearsals for the project will take place with the generous support of The Khyber Centre For The Arts. A public performance of Nicole’s composition will be included in our Keynote Concert on Thursday, May 30th, in Paul O’Regan Hall at Halifax Central Library. The event marks the kick off to our 12th annual festival and is free and open to the public.