Moving the music indoors 

Crankworx organizers opt to make musical offerings ticketed events, host concerts at clubs and bars


There will be no more free live music as professional bikers sail down jumps at the Boneyard during the 2009 Crankworx celebrations. Organizers have decided to nix their traditional mainstage musical offerings and move the tunes inside to venues throughout the village.

The new Deraylor Music Festival will bring almost 40 bands and DJs from around the world to venues like the Longhorn Saloon, GLC, Tommy Africa's, Maxx Fish, Moe Joe's, Garfinkel's and Merlin's during next month's Crankworx. A $35 wristband will grant access to all the concerts, including performances by DOA, USS, Mother Mother, Shad, Long Walk Short Dock, Felix Cartel, Bison, Jets Overhead, Wood & Soo, DJ Bryx, Said the Whale, Current Swell, Hey Ocean and a DJ set by K-OS. Attendees must be 19 and each show will be subject to venue capacity restrictions.

Tyl van Toorn, cofounder and executive producer of the Deraylor Music Festival, has worked on music production for Crankworx in 2007 and 2008, and a range of other events in Whistler over the last 10 years. His company, the FanTan Group, was contracted to consult on the viability of the current music programming at Crankworx.

"Last year was an evaluative year," van Toorn said. "We tried out different types of music and different genres just to see what would work in the square, and I think we came to the realization that this was much better served at night, and that we could elevate the quality if we charged a little bit."

Basically, the old free model simply wasn't working.

"We found that it was actually taking away from peoples' experience. It wasn't adding anything to peoples' experience," van Toorn said.

He theorized that the music programming for Crankworx was designed in the context of other action sports events, like the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, while the two events are actually very different.

"It sort of got copied into Crankworx - and I was probably one of the architects of that, because I was involved in the earlier days of that - but the only challenge is that Crankworx is a very different event in terms of its location and in terms of sports orientation."

He points out that a huge amount of activities take place in Skiers Plaza.

"There's already so much going on there that what we thought, initially, was potentially going to complement that may have even arguably created maybe an overkill."

Ticketed outdoor concert series, like the Whistler Music Festival, didn't seem to be the right model, either.

With so much going on in one place, van Toorn and his group decided it would be best to put the focus back onto sport and shift the musical lineup into existing venues, offering a "multi-venue, wristband festival" this year.

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