England is about to get a little taste of the Canadian Prairies. Manitoba Music is teaming up with SaskMusic and Alberta Music to present The Prairie BBQ at The Great Escape (TGE) in London and Brighton next month, marking Manitoba's first trip to the music festival.
The May 18 showcase at Canada House will feature performances by Manitoba bands Royal Canoe, Del Barber, and Boats along with Saskatchewan’s Shuyler Jansen and Foam Lake and Alberta's Lab Coast and Fist City. All three Manitoba bands are also on tour in the region and are poised to break into the vital U.K. market.
Royal Canoe is riding a wave of critical acclaim to the June 25 release of its debut full length, Today We Are Believers, on Roll Call Records in the U.S. and Nevado Records in Canada. The indie electro-pop outfit has hit stages across Canada and the U.S. and played buzz-worthy showcases at Austin's SXSW and New York's CMJ, winning praise from tastemaking media outlets like the New York Times, Paste Magazine, and KCRW.
Juno-nominated singer/songwriter Del Barber has generated significant buzz for his latest recording, Headwaters, which was released last May on Six Shooter Records and helped land him a performance on CBC's Q. Booked and managed by Winnipeg's Paquin Entertainment, Barber will also open for music legend Billy Bragg during his nine-date stay in the U.K. and Ireland before a summer of Canadian music festivals, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Boats heads to TGE fresh from the release of its latest album on U.S. label Kill Rock Stars, A Fairway Full of Miners. The quirky pop act has toured across Canada and the U.S. in support of the album and wowed critics and fans alike at SXSW and Toronto's Canadian Music Fest.
In addition to The Prairie BBQ, Manitoba Music will meet with and host industry delegates at TGE kick-off shows in some of London's premier live music venues.
The Great Escape convention is the U.K.’s premiere music business conference, bringing together thousands of music industry practitioners for three days of talks, panels, showcases and business-to-business events. The convention runs alongside The Great Escape festival, Europe’s leading festival for new music, which showcases 350 bands at 30 venues during its run. The U.K. is the largest music market in Europe and acts as a barometer for buyers, media and music partners around the world.
The Great Escape is the latest in Manitoba's series of international market development events which has seen the provincial music industry association host showcases in Los Angeles and New York City, at SXSW, Toronto's NXNE, Germany's Reeperbahn, and MIDEM in France.