Indie pop band Stars to headline YorkFest’s free concert

YorkFest, York’s annual extravaganza aimed at orienting students to all the University has to offer, will feature Canadian indie pop group Stars as this year’s headliner at a free evening concert Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Stars, a Juno Award-nominated band, has been gaining momentum and winning over audiences since their 2004 breakthrough single “Ageless Beauty” from their third album, Set Yourself on Fire. The band’s latest and fourth album, In Our Bedroom after the War, features the hit song “Take Me to the Riot”.

The band is one of several major Canadian groups that have headlined YorkFest in previous years, including Matthew Good, K-OS, Metric and Bedouin Soundclash. Three Stars members – Amy Millan, Evan Cranley and Torquil Campbell – are also members of the indie band Broken Social Scene.

“The headliner is always a major Canadian band,” says Saqueeb Rajan, marketing & events manager at the York University Student Centre. "This is one of the bands the students really wanted. There were about 700 posted comments by students stating what band they’d like to see at this year’s YorkFest on the York University Student Centre blog.”

Concert goers will also have the chance to win a guitar, signed by members of Stars, through a free draw right before the band takes the stage. “It’s an autographed, brand-new electric guitar,” says Rajan.

In addition to Stars, four other bands are on the concert bill for YorkFest, including this year’s Garage Works winner at York, Trainlight, previously A Step Too Far, with band members Christian Ferraro (piano, lead vocal), David Arkwright (drums, vocal), Kevin O’Halloran (lead guitar, vocal) and Pierce Pimiskern (bass). Trainlight is just beginning to receive notice in Canada, having recently recorded their first EP.

Sweet Thing, a five-member band that plays pop tunes influenced by Queen, Weezer, Scissor Sisters, Queens of the Stone Age and Motown, will open for Stars. Sweet Thing released their first EP in 2006 and is in the process of getting their own Web site set up. The band Ruby Coast will also hit the stage at YorkFest as will DJ Knoxx.

Close to 4,000 people attend the concert each year. About 10,000 show up for YorkFest’s daytime village event showcasing some 200 of York’s services, student clubs and groups as well as off-campus companies, radio stations and more.

Usually the concert and village event happen on the same day, but this year it’s different. YorkFest Village will take place along Campus Walk, from the Student Centre to the Arboretum Parking Garage, from 12 to 6pm on Wednesday, Sept. 17, the day after the concert. “It’s going to be a fun-filled day and a great way for students to know what essential services are at York,” says Rajan.

The concert is a closed event. York community members including those based at Keele, Glendon and Seneca@York, as well as alumni, will be able to attend with a valid York ID card and valid government issued ID. Each York member will be allowed to bring one guest to the concert, but there are a limited number of guests allowed. These guests will be subject to a sign-in procedure. York members have priority over guests. All guests must bring valid government ID; health cards are not accepted.

The concert is held at the Rexall Centre, Keele campus. Doors open at 7pm. YorkFest is presented by the York University Student Centre and The Underground restaurant.

For more information, visit the YorkFest Web site.