Dancing in the Street: Electronic Music Arts Expo Takes Over Aberdeen Street June 30
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
Chris Rushton fondly recalls listening to his father play electronic music at home. “I was born into the scene,” he says. Growing up in Calgary, his father would DJ in the living room. Now with two children of his own, Chris wants to continue to pass down an appreciation for electronic music – but he wants to go one step further, bringing it out of the living room and onto the streets: “I’ve always wanted to organize a day-time, family-friendly electronic music event,” Chris says. “I want to expose people to the music, and have an event that is a safe place to bring children… something out of the woods.”
Chris is organizing the first Valley Electronic Music Arts Expo, with his spouse Haley Rushton, while also working full-time and raising a four-year-old and a newborn. He is doing it with help from Al Pennington, who runs Camp Jah Collective, a group of artists who are keyed into the East Coast dance scene. Camp Jah Collective runs a monthly electronic show at the Anvil in Wolfville, as well as two annual outdoor events in Canning. Al’s experience running electronic music events has been instrumental to Chris realizing his dream.
Chris and Haley have a lineup of electronic DJs and producers who either live in the Valley or are originally from the Valley. The event will take over Aberdeen Street in Kentville on June 30, the Saturday before Canada Day. The Town of Kentville will be including the event as part of their Canada Day weekend celebrations, and the street will come alive with family-friendly activities and sights such as hula-hooping, face painting, skateboard demonstrations, fire performers, bubble blowing stations, UV string art (yes this is a thing, and yes you should Google it), and, of course, music throughout the day. Everything will be free of charge.
Costs have been kept low due to an outpouring of support from the arts community. “All the musicians and artists are donating their time,” Chris explains. “And the Town of Kentville is helping to cover some of the costs for things like the DJ booth and t-shirts.”
Chris and Haley felt that Aberdeen Street was the perfect location for their inaugural event. “We know a lot of businesses in town, like Limitless and Half Acre. Aberdeen is a wide street, with a great patio at Paddy’s Pub. The location just made sense.”
Their goal is to demonstrate that electronic music can be fun, family-friendly, and something the whole community can enjoy. “Ultimately, we want to show that electronic music can coexist with everything else that is going on in town,” Chris says. The Valley Electronic Music Arts Expo has the potential to be another annual event on the Valley’s long list of incredible things to do in the summer. No doubt many of our readers already hold their own living room dance parties, why not bring your moves out into the open air? After all, summer’s here, and the time is right for dancing in the street.