The Yukon Arts Centre and Paradise Music Festival are partnering to bring a new spring concert series to the Whitehorse Wharf on Front Street at the end of Main. Beginning on May 31 at 5 p.m., guest DJs will perform, providing a summer dance floor for Yukon families and dance music fans alike. The collaboration has been developed by Kasey-Rae Anderson, who is the wharf coordinator for the Yukon Arts Centre, and Kevin Jack (a.k.a. DJKJ), who is the president of the Paradise Music Festival.
The two see it as an opportunity to showcase the electronic music scene that has returned to Whitehorse over the past few years.
“[The Yukon Arts Centre] knew that there has been a lot of electronic dance music (EDM) DJs in the local bars,” said Anderson. “I reached out to Kevin because he has a pulse on the DJ scene. Paradise has done the booking.
“We wanted to do something for the electronic music scene that’s happening.”
Jack, who has been a DJ performing in the territory for 18 years, sees it as a great opportunity to develop partnerships that haven’t always existed in the past. “It’s a really good bridge for the Yukon Arts Centre and Paradise to partner,” Jack explained. “Hopefully we can build it further and look at bringing up some bigger acts.”
The Whitehorse Wharf is part of the Yukon Arts Centre’s Old Fire Hall management, and Anderson says that while it has been used for public events for the past few years, this will be the first programming done by Paradise. As a public space, the wharf shows will be open to anyone who wants to attend. The two groups hope that it will share EDM with people who haven’t had a chance to experience it before.
“It’s a chance to highlight the electronic scene,” said Jack. “Like any genre, it goes in and out of style. [EDM] has been making a comeback the past three years.”
Jack will partner with Sean Sluggett (a.k.a. DJ Purple Teeth) for the first show. The duo will be performing summer-friendly, happy tunes in the ghetto funk genre. Ghetto funk is a newer sub-genre of EDM and is a mix of older tunes, like Michael Jackson or old-school hip hop, that are remastered for the electronic dance floor.
“When people think of electronic music they often think of Ibiza or Burning Man dance floors with a crazy 180 beats per minute,” Jack explained. “There’s a whole bunch of different types and it’s a real chance to show the diversity and our diverse group of artists.”
The event is targeted for anyone, including EDM enthusiasts or families who want to come out and have a good time dancing. Jack saw an appetite for family dancing at the recent Type 1 diabetes conference where Paradise partnered with the Yukon T1D Support Network to put on a concert. The event had a family portion from 7 to 9 p.m. that was well received.
“We had good feedback,” said Jack. “We had people saying ‘Thanks for putting on a show we can bring our families to.’”
For more information, check out the Electronic Summer Series Facebook event, or call the Old Fire Hall at 867-668-3473.