By Heath Fenton
VANCOUVER — Let’s face the truth: Vancouver sadly has never been a hotbed for music festivals. While there have been success stories like Folkfest, there have also been many failed miseries (New Music West comes to mind). There are some promising upstarts like Burger Fest but for the most part, Vancouver has been nothing but crickets when you talk of great festivals. Enter Jason Puder and his promotion company Modified Ghost. In early April some of the world’s best extreme bands will invade five venues over four days. The lineup is impressive with the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Suffocation, Intronaut, and Job For A Cowboy, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The fest also features local heavyweights like Baptists, Anciients, and more. This is the Modified Ghost Festival of 2016, and to say the very least, it is going to be a doozy.
Modified Ghost is Puder’s brainchild. Puder has been promoting shows in Vancouver for roughly five years and started Modified Ghost about a year ago after his previous company came to an end. “I got into promoting through playing music and booking shows for bands I was in. The first few years of playing local gigs around town was an inspiring time for me, and I had always aspired to be a part of awesome shows. I was fascinated by pretty much everything that went into putting on shows in the different bars I was playing, and one thing just sort of led to another,” Puder explains. “Having experience as a performer is definitely helpful, and has provided different kinds of opportunities to learn things about the music industry. So many things go into booking, managing, and running a live music event. Any good opportunities to learn and gain experience are invaluable.”
Puder pretty much hit it out of the park with this four-day shindig. It seems crazy that Modified Ghost has only been around for a year and yet can still reel in some of the big fish that it has. “I’ve wanted to be a part of a music festival since I got into promoting. I started talking to different artists about the idea, and I also reached out to various mentors and peers for their assistance in making things happen,” says Puder.
The fun gets started on April 7th at The Biltmore with Misery Index, Allegaeon, Baptists, Theories, and Acquitted; April 8th at The Vogue Theatre with Dillinger Escape Plan, Job For A Cowboy, Revocation, Gorod, and Bookakee; April 9th has two shows. The first is at The Rickshaw with Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Dead Cross, Toxic Holocaust, Intronaut, Archspire, and Scale the Summit. The second show is at The Astoria with Powertrip, Cult Leader, Anciients, Usnea, North, and He Whose Ox Is Gored. April 10th has Absu, Uada, and Graveolence also at the Astoria.
That’s right, count ‘em. Twenty-six bands! Hot damn! Festival passes give you access to all venues and bands. If you want to be choosy then you can buy for individual shows as well. There really hasn’t been anything like this in Vancouver and for it to happen in the extreme music scene makes it even more amazing. Nice work, Puder. If you are into heavy music and are not out at this festival in one form or another well there isn’t a lot that can be said to help you. Just go.
Modified Ghost takes place April 7-10 at various venues.BC, British Columbia, Jason Puder, metal festivals, Modified Ghost