Lawnya Vawnya is a Newfoundland expression meaning “having a good time at a dance party with plenty to eat.”
The second annual Lawnya Vawnya festival of independent music and arts will take place in St. John’s, Newfoundland April 18-22.
Named for a Newfoundland expression that – according the Dictionary of Newfoundland English – means “having a good time at a dance or party with plenty to eat,” Lawnya Vawnya burst onto the Canadian festival calendar last year with creative programming throughout colourful downtown St. John’s.
“Because of the unpredictable weather here in April we will never be an outdoors festival. So we found lots of neat indoors places and ways to present music,” says co-organizer Ariel Sharratt.
Last year’s festival included secret shows in tiny, beloved bar CBTG’s; with Tony Dekker (of the Great Lake Swimmers) in Cabot Tower atop Signal Hill; and in various small businesses around the city.
This year’s musical lineup includes acclaimed hip-hop artist Cadence Weapon, veteran indie-songstress Julie Doiron and a reunion for Halifax indie-pop duo The Inbreds. Other acts include Snailhouse, Sheezer, Olympic Symphonium, Stanley Brinks (formerly of the cult French band Herman Dune), Laura Barrett, BA Johnston, The Weather Station and Marine Dreams.
“We’re focusing on music and poetry this year,” says Sharratt. “We’re excited to create some dialogue about the independent music and small-press scenes; about how we can all make our labours of love sustainable.”
Readings will feature Jeramy Dodds, Josh Trotter, Gabe Foreman, Leigh Kotsilidis, Mark Callanan, Kerri Cull and Cadence Weapon, who is the former Poet Laureate of Edmonton.
Two panel discussions will take place during the festival about independent music and publishing, and a record and small press fair will be open at Eastern Edge Gallery throughout the Lawnya Vawnya weekend with labels and presses across Canada represented.
Lawnya Vawnya alumus performers include (only a partial list):
Jake & Billy Nicoll
Construction & Destruction
Pilot to Bombardier
The Newish Klezmer Ensemble