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in attendance : Aftermath Festival – Day 4

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Toronto ON, May 25 - This fourth and final day clinched the successful status of the Aftermath Festival. It left many minds blown, and many comments on social media expressing hopes for another one the next year. Most importantly, Aftermath brought hope to many people that saw the cancellation of Kinetik as part of the trend of alternative clubs closing all over North America. Something had to come around and rally people in Toronto for the rest of the world to see, and this appears to have been the much-needed kick in the ass. Sure, it’s probably uphill all the way from here, but that’s the direction you go in order to ascend a hill.

For All The Emptiness opened the set with dramatic music for the early arrivals, and once again there were many of those. Glass Apple Bonzai followed with a unique fun throwback to 80s retro synth music, complete with vintage synthesizers, old computers, and drum machines. Surgyn performed third and pretty much blew the whole room away, and industrial trio Panic Lift brought up the sonic intensity after that. Then came a very well known group that always has a distinct way about interviews, De/Vision. Last, Aesthetic Perfection brought the tempo up again to close out the evening, leaving everybody physically exhausted after four days, but still having difficulty believing this was over. I for one hope this happens again, but I wouldn’t be surprised with a name change–should this festival continue, it’s not just going to be the Aftermath of Kinetik. It’s something unto itself, independent of its predecessor, and I’m curious to see where the organizers will take this.

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photos : C. Lang Photography

- Dylan Madeley






in attendance : Aftermath Festival – Day 3

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Toronto ON, May 24 - The third day of the Aftermath Festival continued along the same vein as the second: a lineup that alternated refreshingly between more dynamic and less dynamic stage acts, with DJs filling sounds in between each live set. The venue was once again full of people, and the success of the festival in general seemed assured. Suicide Commando was originally tapped to close out the night but they had to cancel. However, local legends Decoded Feedback were able to step in on short notice and did really well, much like how Aftermath had stepped in on short notice when Kinetik had to be cancelled.

The set order saw Volt 9000 opening the night, allowing me to see them for the second time since the Artoffact Records showcase back when Neutral was still with us. They were followed by solo act ESA, and then the energy flowed down a notch to slightly more chill when Displacer followed. Caustic then brought the tempo back up again, appearing on the stage for the second time (the first being with The Causticles, this time in a non-collaborative capacity). To maintain that tempo tide, high-octane to more chill and back, Decoded Feedback were slotted ahead of FGFC820 to close out the night.

Overall, another solid day from an event that came from out of the blue to fill a void. There would be one more day to follow.

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photos : C. Lang Photography

- Dylan Madeley






in attendance : Aftermath Festival – Day 2

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Toronto ON, May 23 - On the second day of the Aftermath Festival, there was something for everyone: a bit of riffing, a lot of rhythm, and altogether a fun evening for those gathered. Promonium Jesters opened for a very good early crowd, and Antigen Shift followed them as a duo. The third act was a twin bill, split between The Gothsicles for the early part, reminding us all of why we should respect Aquaman; the transformation into The Causticles after Caustic joined them on stage. They were followed by industrial icon Malhavoc, who made room in his set for a cover of the Prospero/Ayria collab “Discipline”. That provided an interesting segue to the next energetic set performed by Ayria, which built up to the last performers, iVardensphere. In sum, a solid night at a solid event.

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photos : C. Lang Photography

- Dylan Madeley






in attendance : The Steampunk World’s Fair 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

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Piscataway New Jersey, May 16 – 18 - Going on five years strong, this May saw the return of The Steampunk World’s Fair, produced by Jeff Mach Events, to the Radisson Hotel and Embassy Suites in Piscataway. Every year the fair continues to grow, and this year was no exception! The three day fair took place throughout the two hotels and the parking lot of the Radisson. Vendors were at all three locations, while performers of all kinds could be found performing at one of three stages, or even impromptu performances by buskers in the hallways, lobbies, or courtyards. Events ranged from literary readings to historical panels about the Victorian and Edwardian eras to absinthe tastings, as well as meet and greet panels with special guests.

The main draw, as was last year, was the San Diego pantomime group, Steam Powered Giraffe, who performed on Saturday. Burlesque troupes were in force at the fair with performances by Smoke & Mirrors, The Ink & Paint Club Burlesque, and Pretty Poison Cabaret. Other musical artists this year included Unwoman, A Halo Called Fred, Eli August & The Abandoned Buildings, Frenchy & The Punk, among many others. However this was also the first year, where there was no fashion show on Sunday, which came as a surprise to many I had spoken too. Still despite that, plenty of vendors had plenty of clothing and accessories for attendees to try on and purchase.

And onward to the sixth year, with the dates already announced! 2015′s SPWF will take place on May 15th to the 17th!

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Get a little taste of Steam Powered Giraffe’s performance with their music video for “Brass Goggles”.

photos : Knightmare6

- Knightmare6






upcoming : Aftermath Festival

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Toronto ON, May 22-25 - It was a sad day when Kinetik Festival was cancelled. The beloved industrial and electronic music festival was one of the largest of its type in North America. Normally taking place in Montreal, plans had been made to move the festival to Toronto this year, bands had been booked, tickets had been sold, many attendees had made travel plans, and with just months remaining it unfortunately had to be cancelled.

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Rising from the wreckage came Aftermath, an impromptu four-day music festival born out of the combined efforts of promoters, musicians, writers, and fans who pooled their efforts in order to keep many of the bands booked to play Kinetik playing in Toronto the dates Kinetik was to take place. Aftermath’s lineup features bands both classic and emerging ranging from industrial rock to IDM to electro-industrial to synthpop. It will take place over Memorial Day weekend, between May 22nd and 25th at the Phoenix Concert Theatre and Velvet Underground. Tickets are only $15 per evening in advance and $20 day of.

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In addition to some great music do a bit of shopping! The designers behind Plastik Wrap had a Bazaar of the Bizarre vendor market planed for Kinetik and are keeping it alive with an Aftermath Bazaar on Saturday May 24th. Located in a new space in the heart of Kensington market, the Round venue, it’s a great chance to take in the unique neighborhood and also explore the shops it has to offer.

Bazaar of the Bizarre Aftermath

Auxiliary will be at Aftermath, so if you spot us say hi! Don’t miss this festival and look out for our coverage of it in the next issue and here on our website.

- Jennifer Link






in attendance : The Twisted World Villains and Vixens

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

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Villains hopped into their get-away vehicles, as vixens used their feminine wiles to secure rides, both in hopes of reaching the wilderness that is Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the second annual Twisted World. The theme this time celebrating the felonious villains and the beautiful vixens of all media. From steampunk and gender-bend Boba Fetts to the burlesque villains of Gotham City (by The White Elephant Burlesque Society) to flying squirrels performing aerial silks. Many bands played throughout the weekend, from Chicago’s V is for Villains to local favorites, Ego Likeness and The Dead Milkmen). Panels were held on the second floor of the hotel, in case attendees wished to learn from a variety of topics, such as how to cosplay on a budget, the sensuality of erotic knife and sword play, what are the moral implications of masturbation, or, if you attended with your mother, panels featuring Q&A sessions with authors in attendance.

The theme for next year has been announced, and it’ll be Macabre Madness. Plenty of time to get yourself committed in 2015!

Twisted World

Twisted World

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photos : Knightmare6

- Knightmare6






in attendance : RAW:Toronto

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Toronto ON, April 22 – RAW is an organization based out of LA that specializes in promoting and giving exposure to growing artists of all mediums. Although relatively new in Toronto, they launched their Toronto division this year, the showcase that happened past Thursday at Revival Bar in the downtown core of the city attracted many creative and colorful personalities. The venue’s ceiling was adorned with Asian paper lanterns that drifted above the rhythmic beats of ska music and chatter of crowds.

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Abrash Embroidery

Among the various designers, visual artists, and photographers there were several names that stood out with their bright originality and captivating displays. Abrash Embroidery, a truly impressive company that specializes in altering clothing in a recycled manner to create a reinvented product. This glimmering silver and teal dress was definitely a show stopper with it’s high fashion approach to mesh, creating shapes that mimicked the oscillating waves of the ocean. I also really loved the attention to detail in their long-sleeved dress with the Dia de los Muertos sugar skull embellished with vibrant red spirals.

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Left, Keniya. Right, photograph by Remedy, image source remydarling.com.

For casual streetwear I found urban designer Keniya that also strongly believes in recycling materials to recreate comfortable flattering pieces. What really impressed me was how everything could be worn unisex, the camo print, the woven shorts, even the long magenta and amethyst golden button down dress could be worn as an avant-garde silk shirt.

Local Toronto alternative fashion photographer Remedy was also showcasing her prints that night, although an emerging artist in the industry she has a particular knack in rendering and editing her images in post into fantasy dreamscapes and vivid illustrative stories. Her hyperrealism style is truly inspiring and pushing the boundaries of what we consider to be fashion portraiture.

The RAW showcase has big plans for the future of emerging artists, their next Toronto event “Panorama” takes place on June 19th with a new cluster of bright stars and new local talent.

photos : Cassia Crawl

- Cassia Crawl






upcoming : |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week 2014

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Toronto ON, April 22-26 - |FAT| or Toronto Arts & Fashion Week is next week! Auxiliary has been attending this fashion week for many years and it always has a very strong showing of alternative and subculture designers making it one of the best runway events for alternative fashion in North America. It is an incredible five nights of over 45 runway shows, photography exhibits, art installations, theatrical performances, and fashion films that are set to inspire and awe.

This year many Auxiliary featured designers, stylists, and models will be contributing their talents to this awesome fashion week. If you’re near Toronto don’t miss this event! Auxiliary Magazine will be attending so look out for us! And look out for coverage of the event on our website and in our fashion issue!

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Left, Auxiliary Spotlight Designer Artifice Clothing. Right, With Love Lingerie Auxiliary featured designer.

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Left, Candydrip as seen in Auxiliary Magazine. Right, VANIKA.

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Left, Auxiliary PinUp and cover model Kelleth in Auxiliary Spotlight Designer Starkers Corsetry. Right, Auxiliary featured designer House of Etiquette.

- Jennifer Link






in attendance : Skinny Puppy – Live Shapes for Arms Tour

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Toronto ON, February 18 – When I interviewed Ogre and cEvin Key for the June/July 2013 Issue,  it was clear to me they were very excited about touring and coming home to Canada for a few shows in the not so distant future. The enthusiasm expressed in the interview culminated into a perfect show for Skinny Puppy when they took to the stage, in force with full frontal stagecraft at Toronto’s Sound Academy on their Live Shapes for Arms tour.

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It seemed to be the  industrial social event of the year as Sound Academy packed with fans from far and wide on a Tuesday “school” night.  But as the industrial titans graced the stage with larger than life video artistry and fitting macabre costume changes, the stage became a living organism of everything we love about Skinny Puppy.

Ogre’s theatrics were a thrill, but for me the real pleasure was in the crystal clear Sound Academy system that layered the music beautifully and played on cEvin’s master craft at the keyboard. There were even some interesting shades of his skill with elements of Download and even little bits of influence from his recent but brilliant Dubcon project in the interplay between set list selections that drew from a balanced Skinny Puppy repertoire, both old and new.

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Skinny Puppy is one of those bands that rarely breaks character. However, for the latter half of the Toronto show Ogre dropped the masks, costumes, and theatrics, coming out as just Ogre, the man, to engage with the audience in sincere and appreciative showmanship. When I talked to Ogre in the summer it was clear to me that he has a deep and spiritual appreciation for the support of Skinny Puppy over the years, and he showed this by touching the audience with a brilliant and rare personal performance, sans the blood and doom.

Both men, cEvin and Ogre, now into their fifties and exceedingly good looking as they age, brought a youthful energy and emotive performance. Reliable sources who had also attended the Montreal show days before reported similar observations and the only downside is the show was it had to end, leaving us wanting more Skinny Puppy, of yore and the future!

- Hangedman






in attendance : Assemblage 23 and Glenn Love at The Opera House

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Toronto ON, February 1 – On their first tour date of 2014, Assemblage 23 played at The Opera House and Glenn Love provided an opening set. A23 frontman Tom Shear has been busy with different projects, one being recently contributing lyrics and vocals to the track “Society of Dogs” on iVardensphere’s The Methuselah Tree. This particular tour bears no particular title, nor is it in support of any new A23 album (though side project Surveillance will release the successfully crowd-funded album Oceania very soon), but it easily brought out a full house of attendees even in the midst of a blizzard. Assemblage 23 will continue touring and are heading to Europe next. When the stage was not otherwise occupied, DJ Lazarus provided a steady supply of beats.

Assemblage 23 on stage

Opening industrial/dark electronic act Glenn Love had an incredible time. It was great to see not only a robust attendance for the event overall, but a big group arriving in time to enjoy his set (I was delayed by a streetcar’s mechanical breakdown, and I was not alone in such troubles). In January, Glenn released two new singles, “(R)Age Electric” and “At My Door”, which will be included in an upcoming EP. Dyno Mike and Dann Hines helped to work the electronics, freeing up Glenn to fully engage in the dynamic stage performance style that has become his trademark.

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After an intermission set by DJ Lazarus, Assemblage 23 brought their signature EBM/industrial sound to the stage. The A23 set provided a nice spread of different songs from different albums, keeping the energy level up and keeping people dancing. It was remarkable how they handled the encore: while many bands traditionally walk off the stage and wait for the crowd to loudly urge them back to their instruments, A23 made a point of simply asking whether people wanted to hear more, then giving the crowd what they wanted.

Tom Shear of Assemblage 23

photos : Dylan Madeley

See more photos from this event at www.flickr.com/photos/dylerpillar.

- Dylan Madeley






in attendance : Random Order Album Release Party

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Toronto ON, January 30 - The release party for Random Order’s new album, Black Lipstick Kiss, took place at the Virgin Mobile MOD Club in Toronto. The headlining band performed their new album from start to finish and sets were also performed by Toronto bands Tremor and Amy’s Arms. Random Order plays a thoroughly danceable blend of styles including alternative rock, ska, and reggae. They bookended the night, beginning with two songs recorded for television in advance of Amy’s Arms’ set, and finishing the night with a full set.

Random Order

The next band to take the stage was Amy’s Arms, a goth rock band who recently concluded an Indiegogo fundraiser campaign for a new album. Amy’s Arms has been around in various incarnations for seven years, and they showcased the lineup that one should expect to see on their Spring 2014 tour with David J. of Bauhaus fame. It looks and sounds like they have all the pieces put together: Christopher Park kept the time behind the kit, his first outing with the band.

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Tremor was the next band to play. Their Fender-driven indie rock shifted the sonic landscape once again, though all the bands this evening did indeed sound refreshingly different from each other, catering to an array of tastes. This band reminded me of 70s guitarists who were influenced by blues and folk.

Tremor

After those sets, Random Order returned. They had not lost any energy in between their two-song opener and their return, and quite a lot of ska pit dancing was to be seen in the crowd. They also added something extra to their performance by inviting skillful dance act House of Shimmy to join them on stage for a couple of songs.

Random Order with House of Shimmy

House of Shimmy

photos : Dylan Madeley

See more photos from this event at www.flickr.com/photos/dylerpillar.

- Dylan Madeley






in attendance : New York Comic Con

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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New York NY, October 10-13 - The 8th annual New York Comic Con took place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. Over the course of four days, October 10th to the 13th, the multi-genre convention drew in crowds over 130,000 from around the world, easily-matching the world-famous Comic Con International: San Diego (aka San Diego Comic Con). Cosplayers came out in force, bringing their A-game to the largest convention dedicated to science fiction, pop culture, and comic books on the East Coast. Mixed among those numbers also were fans out to see their favorite celebrities and panels centered on TV shows and movies, as well as comic industry panels on Thursday night.

Numerous TV shows debuted their pilot episodes and season premieres at the convention, including Fox’s much-anticipated Almost Human, starring Karl Urban, as well as the CW’s Beauty and the Beast and Reign, both of which were followed by a cast panel with the stars. The main panels everyone was waiting on for Saturday was, as per the norm, The Walking Dead, while Sunday was the panel for the new Fox series, Sleepy Hollow. Both panels were “question and answer” panels with numerous questions by female fans directed at Norman Reedus (Darryl Dixon) and Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane).

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photos : Knightmare6

- Knightmare6






in attendance : Codex 2 Festival

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Quebec City QC, Sept 13 – 15 – This was the little festival that could, small in scope but big in performance and quality. Codex serves the underground of EDM focusing on electronic sub genres such as rhythmic noise, drum and bass, atmospheric IDM, and minimal techno.

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Quebec city with it’s 17th and 18th century Marschel Vauban fortress configuration, historical ghosts, and stunningly beautiful architecture is one of North America’s most charming gems, and possibly one of it’s best kept secrets. As a back drop for the dark modern beats of the festival, it was a perfect and somewhat eerie contrast.

This year’s festival was an Upper meets Lower Canada event, with most of the “international” artists hailing from Ontario Canada. Combined with a solid gathering of local Quebec artists and DJs it was a pure celebration of music in a tight knit group of subculture artists that transcend borders.

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The most notable high for this festival was the quality of venue and sound. In particular the Le Cercle venue was not only aesthetically impressive but the sound quality was superb. Every layer of each artists carefully crafted pieces were clearly audible, and immersive. The video art accompaniment from Toronto’s Dusx on large visible screens, smoke, lights in a clean, spacious, modern setting with crystal clear sound was a major win for this festival. Electronic music delivered with the precision of this line-up demanded nothing less, and festival organizers clearly made sure that the audience was getting the best sound and visual inspiration the ticket could buy. Even the smaller secondary venue L’Agitée had sound better than most clubs of it’s size.

Headliner Orphx, hailing from Hamilton, Ontario was the highlight act, delighting ears with their signature sinister techno sound. It was nice to see an underground techno artist as the headline in a festival that covers a multitude of genres that sometimes contrast each other dramatically. In a similar vein, Toronto’s Displacer delivered perhaps the performance of his career, turning his usual chill and serene beats into a darker, harsher, and strangely uplifting auditory experience. Local newcomer Mod Beat drifted gracefully in a tech set that ever so slightly touched into a psytrance realm. Also local Michel Plamandon was superb. I didn’t manage to catch Montreal’s E1000 set but reports from peers indicate it was a stellar set. Last but not least, Toronto’s S:Cage finished the night in a dark, droney set that escalated slowly into harsh beats and noise-like elements.

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Friday’s focus was a contrasting evening of noise and drum and bass. Toronto DJ Saucy Miso mixed both genres elegantly interspersing heavy jungle cadence with IDM breaks and noise stomp. This was a great prelude to Toronto’s CompUterus, the evening’s headliner lending their unique brand of industrial noise to the dance floor. Finishing the evening, Jonah K returned to his drum and bass roots with a spectacular set complimented the excellent sound quality of the venue.

Unfortunately we had to miss Sunday’s all local outdoor Quebec DJ event at Place Université du Québec. However, overall Codex remains an important festival showcase. While not one of North America’s bigger festivals, it is unique in it being a showcase of some truly amazing talent in musical styles that remain on the avant-garde fringe of electronic dance music.

photos : Mark Edwards

- Hangedman






in attendance : Artoffact Records Showcase

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Toronto ON, June 27Artoffact Records of Toronto, Canada has a number of fantastic artists on their roster, some new, some old and the opportunity to bring some of them together presented itself in June of 2013. The core of the night was local Ontario artists including label veteran Prospero and Encephalon, as well as one half of newly minted Volt 9000. (The other half is Portland, Oregon. Put a bird on it!) But the headliner and the band that wowed us all was the Icelandic synthpop band Legend, who stopped in Toronto on their way to the acclaimed Terminus Festival in Calgary, Alberta.

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Prospero live at the Artoffact Records Showcase. Prospero has recently focused on mixing electronics with traditional and unusual acoustics. 

It’s funny I’m reviewing this because I had the unique perspective of being a music fan enjoying some amazing acts, but also on stage with Prospero as part of his stage show. Prospero’s music has taken a turn towards tribal noise and with a variety of unique percussion instruments and a few tracks with bagpipes. There’s also, more than ever a nod to vocals in Prospero’s music with a handful of songs written by me, Hangedman and making a debut at the showcase, adapted for the Prospero repitoire.

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Volt 9000 made there live performance debut at the showcase. This amazing new industrial band kept the tradition of musical protest statement by presenting in true industrial form an anti-Monsanto theme.

Newcomers to the Artoffact Label, Volt 9000 put on great performance. I was surprised to learn it was their first ever live show as they completely aced it. They’re style was amusingly irreverent and included a curious plexiglass box filled with disgusting looking rotting tomatoes which vocalist Cory Gorski sprayed with what looked like a toxic pesticide sprayer. Scribbled on the box was the words “Monsanto Foods”. They poured their anger out over this topic in some of the best new narrative industrial music I’ve heard in a while.

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Alis Alias of Encephalon augmented a truly great show with amazing visuals.

Encephalon has put on more than a few amazing Toronto shows in their day, but at the showcase they did it again. I always look forward to seeing their stage performance and this time we were treated with some really awesome background visuals. Encephalon has gone to the next level with their signature melodies and anthem-like sound. I highly recommend their latest album The Transhuman Condition.

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Krummi of Legend cast a complete spell over the audience with his incredible vocal talent.

The act that took the night was Iceland’s Legend. Club Neutral in Toronto has seen some outstanding performances over the years but the energy and unbelievable sound of Legend was really special. In their debut North American appearance Legend treated us to a show to remember and people left talking excitedly about these guys, many wishing they could make the trip to Calgary’s Terminus Festival to see them again!

I also want to add how great the guys from Artoffact are as well. They put on a great show. These mini-fests with multiple live acts, each with their own technology and performance needs are no small feat. Planning and coordination to pack it all into one night is a tough job. As a bonus Artoffact also made this show very accessible on the wallet which included a copy of one of the bands discs with every ticket. This represented a great deal for fans who love live music. We thank you Artoffact and we hope that  you do this again next year.

photos & video : Adrian Onsen

- Hangedman