If local DJ Carson Hoy and crew pull it off, it will be the hottest ticket at this year’s Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
Hoy is organizing the Youth Stage and 13-18 Teen Night Club in the Alice McKay building, which is doubling as a live performance venue and a teen-only dance club Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights during the fair May 17-19.
The venue will showcase live bands from 6 to 9 p.m., including headliner Ray Gibson, an 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Maple Ridge who’s appearing all three nights, as are the bands lined up for the youth stage.
Every night, once the live performances are over, the space will transform into a dance club, featuring Deth Klown, a duo consisting of Hoy and Austin Neighbour, and guest DJ Kush, from 9 to 10 p.m.
“We’re going to have a massive sound system,” Hoy says, adding the equipment’s being supplied by Long & McQuade, which already does audio for the fair. A light show with lasers is also an essential part of the mix. Hoy admits the tricky part may in fact be closing it down by 10 p.m.
The plan’s a natural fit for Hoy, an accomplished musician, producer, and rising talent as a DJ who spends his nights performing at school dances and parties and his days as a Grade 11 student at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.
[Stolen, at left, won this year’s Tweedy Idol contest]
He simply wanted to create something specifically for teenagers to do at the Rodeo and country fair – at night.
“I’ve been going to the rodeo for basically my whole life,” he says. “High school is when everyone is allowed to go without their parents. Everybody’s there all weekend, all night, but there’s nothing for the 12 to 18 [age] category,” he says, pointing out there’s plenty on offer in the form of bars, beer gardens, and live entertainment at night – for those 19 and older.
So, last year, he emailed the organizers offering to DJ at one of the outdoor or indoor stages. “It was just in the morning, so the kids weren’t out,” he says.
Fortunately for the social life of rodeo-going teens everywhere, Hoy got called back this year with a tantalizing offer: “The hall’s open,” he was told. “We’d love for you to do a teen dance.”
Before long, he was introducing the idea of putting live bands onstage, too. “So we added those in.”
Youth Stage Acts perform half-hour sets with one hour-long set nightly, by rotation, before Ray Gibson takes the stage for the final hour.
Gibson taught herself to play piano and guitar, and her career is steadily gaining ground. She’s worked alongside fellow Canadian country artist Aaron Pritchett and has recently appeared on CTV Morning Live, and opened for Tyler Ward.
She Dreams In Colour (pictured at left) is a three-piece, all-girl alt/punk band from Surrey. They’ve only been together for a few months, and the members are 14 to 17 years old. They perform cover songs by their favourite artists but enjoy performing their own material, too.
Stolen has playing together for two years. The band won this year’s Tweedy Idol talent contest at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.
“That’s how we saw them,” Hoy says.
Cloverdale’s DJ Khush has been DJing professionally for three years, and is influenced by a wide genre of music, from Hip-Hop and R&B to classic rock, metal, pop, jazz and electronica.
Deth Klown is an electronic dance music DJ group, also from Cloverdale, founded by Caron Hoy and Austin Neighbour. Hoy, who’s been performing for 10 years, has won awards for his jazz drumming, and became an electronic artist in 2011.
Deth Klown will be playing some of their original songs at the youth stage. “We do our own light shows to the music,” he adds. “We have the experience. We’ve done tons of shows.”
[At right, Ransom for the Captives]
Admission to both the Youth Stage (all ages) and Teen Night Club (ages 13 to 18 only) is free with gate admission to the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
Weather-wise, Hoy believes the Youth Stage and Teen Night Club are less vulnerable to any inclement meteorological conditions during weekend.
In other words, if it rains, no problem. “It’s indoors. It’s somewhere you can go no matter what.”
Besides, Hoy figures: “If the girls are there, everyone else will follow.”