Frustrated with the lack of infrastructure for touring acts, freshly repatriated locals Jud Haynes and Krista Power are launching a promotions company to book and promote local shows. Called MightyPop, their mission is to convince more Canadian musical acts to make the leap across the Strait of Belle Isle, across the 903 kilometers of TCH, and to the stages of St. John’s.
by Elling Lien
When Jud Haynes, former bassist for Wintersleep, moved back home and bought a house with his girlfriend Krista Power, it just made sense for bands they knew who were passing through town to stay with them or show them around.
The Halifax band the Sleepless Nights stayed with them. And when Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden came to town, they hung out. And so on.
After years of touring with a Canadian rock band, you end up meeting and befriending a lot of other Canadian rock bands.
When the Halifax-based folk rock band Share came through town earlier this year and needed a place to stay, they called Haynes and Power.
That’s when they heard the dirty details.
“They brought the full band over and everything they were told was taken care of, none of it was taken care of,” says Haynes. “There was no sound guy, there was no PA, there were no posters. There was no mention in any local listings.”
When they ran into one of the bands who were supposed to be performing with them, they had no idea they were even on the bill.
“That was the day when Krista and I looked at each other and said, ‘we’ve got to help these guys out. This is getting ridiculous,'” Haynes says.
The seed of MightyPop was sown.
Then, in March, when alt-country dudes Cuff the Duke were in town after a show opening for Blue Rodeo and couldn’t make a flight out of town because of a snow storm, Haynes and Power were able to test their local show-arranging and promotional chops.
“It was only 6 o’clock in the day when they found out they couldn’t go, so myself and Krista made a few phonecalls, got them on a show that night, jumped on Facebook and online, and started spreading the word,” says Haynes. “And by the time the doors opened up, there turned out to be a huge crowd for it.”
“So we said to ourselves, ‘Okay, let’s jump in and do this!'”
The first official MightyPop show will be with the band Share on October 30th at The Ship.
Share’s Andrew Sisk has travelled across Canada several times, and can attest to how important it is to have people on the ground helping plan a show.
“Everyone’s gone on tours where they’ve lost money, and you can’t make that mistake too often,” says Sisk. “Bands need a place to stay, and someone who can book the shows for them. All that infrastructure needs to be there, or a band can’t take that risk and play in a smaller town.”
Haynes says the more ‘underground-y’ acts like Share are the ones he wants to help out. The acts bigger promotions companies wouldn’t touch because of the financial risk.
“We’re not doing it as a moneymaker,” says Haynes. “We both have other things that we do that help us get by. We’re doing this to fill the void for these bands.”
But believe him.
“Jud’s an amazing character,” says Sisk. “He’s amazingly supportive, he understands music, he understands what the artists need, and that’s why it’s amazing for Newfoundland to have him doing this.”
Aside from Share, MightyPop is already presenting a number of shows later this year, including a show by Cuff the Duke on November 8, and PEI’s In-Flight Safety later in December.
MightyPop present Share on October 30 at The Ship. Openers TBA, tickets available at the door. Band website: www.myspace.com/andrewsisk. For more information about MightyPop or their shows, check out their website at www.mightypop.ca.