by Amber Goodwyn
If you’re a live music fan or have a special interest in the hardcore and punk bands that come to town, then God Not God Productions, a.k.a. Emily Ritenburg, needs little introduction. The intrepid promoter keeps a busy schedule and is the primary contact for many bands who roll through town looking for an awesome bill to join.
Last June, Ritenburg organized the Toboggan Island Festival which featured a lot of bands who were heading to Calgary’s Sled Island Festival. “Last year was a total fluke; it just sort of happened,” says Ritenburg. “I already had a show booked and I had at least 20 bands contact me over the course of a couple of weeks looking for shows and I just said, ‘Okay fine, I’m going to book as many of these bands as I can.’”
After the success of the spin-off festival, Ritenburg decided to change the name to Queen City Riot to give this year’s event a more Regina-focused identity. “[It] hovers in the middle of one day mini-fests and the Regina Folk Festival,” says Ritenburg. “I think it’s nice to have a festival that keeps an underground music philosophy and caters to independent artists… I think it’s filling a bit of a gap.”
Queen City Riot will take place at The Exchange and The Club (2431 8th Ave.) on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14 and showgoers will be able to float between the two rooms. Highlights this year include a focus on hip-hop, indie and folk on Friday with artists like Def3 and Kav and Clay. Saturday is dedicated to punk and hardcore, and both nights feature out-of-town and local bands alike.
Fiercely independent, the only sponsorship support Queen City Riot is receiving is from Regina’s Blue Door Recording. The studio is offering three free days of recording to a Saskatchewan band on the QCR bill. People can vote for the band they think deserves the opportunity on Blue Door Recording’s Facebook page.
When asked about the future of Queen City Riot, Ritenburg is thoughtful. “I would like to keep the fest an annual thing and to see it grow, maybe get a few more people involved. Grow but stay within the philosophy of what Queen City Riot is right now… it would be really great to have more people help to do this,” she laughs.
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH
This is my last Sound Check column for a while as I’ll be becoming a mum before the month is out and, like, need a break to give birth and focus on the care of my offspring. Have a wonderful summer!
In my ears: A variety of cuts from Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s re-issued discography