Forbidden Colors booking agency, who is perhaps best known for their work with ChameleonsVox, Modern English, and Sad Lovers & Giants are finalizing plans for their inaugural Strange Day Festival, which takes place September 8 at Capitol Theater in Olympia, Washington this fall. The event promises a captivating collision of both legacy and modern post-punk acts, which is sure to make it a can’t miss event for fans of the genre worldwide.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with festival co-organizer, Nicole Anne Francis to discuss the event and the strange wonders it has in store.
How did you come up with the concept for the festival?
My partner in Forbidden Colors, Tobias Sinclair and I, went last year and worked at Migration Festival running the door. Getting to see what Adam Bartlett (Gilead Media) and Dave Grave (20 Buck Spin) had put together at Capitol Theatre in Olympia was really impressive. We left that fest feeling really inspired.
So we contacted the venue and went to work. Bringing these amazing groundbreaking bands over to the U.S. from Europe and the UK and pairing them with great current bands has always been a huge part of Forbidden Colors, so A Strange Day Festival seemed like the next logical step.
Did you curate the festival? Is there a common thread that runs through all of the artists that are playing?
We are very hands on with our curation. In all Forbidden Colors shows, but A Strange Day Festival specifically, we want to present a great snapshot of what is relevant to the genre of post punk right now; foundational bands no one has gotten to see and bands that are doing the genre justice in the present day. We are always looking for bands that really stand out to us or bands who we loved growing up that are important to pay homage to.
It has also been a remarkable family affair. We are friends with most of the bands playing and just unbelievably grateful to them for participating. The festival poster, which will be available for Legrand Society members the day of, was designed by FOIE Graphics, who it felt great to work with again.
In addition to the Fest in Olympia on September 8, we are also throwing a pre-party on September 7 at Tonic Lounge in Portland that features a Blessure Grave reunion, Human Leather, Draa and Warm Hands. Portland’s finest, Chris from SoundcontrolPDX, will be running sound for both the fest and the pre-party. There is a thread of community and a deep passion for dark music running through everyone involved.
What sets this apart from other festival type events?
I think people will walk away from A Strange Day Festival knowing they witnessed something historic. One of the reasons live music is so important is because it is so ephemeral. You have this one day, just these hours, in which to experience it and then it’s gone forever. We try to provide people with memories and experiences that will last forever, so one day they can say “I was there, what an incredible moment.”
How did you decide that the legendary Chameleons were the appropriate act to headline the festival?
It’s Chameleons, they are such a genre defining band. Tobias and Mark [Burgess], have a fantastic relationship and it seemed like the perfect way to set the tone for the entire festival. We also know there were many people who missed out on seeing them during their 2015 tour, as most of those shows sold out.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing?
For me personally, it’s Have A Nice Life. They have rarely played live and they were definitely on my bucket list. That band was a sort of really important early internet discovery for many people including me. I thought it was like either get my fourth HANL related tattoo or try to book them. A very close second will be Chameleons Vox lead singer, Mark Burgess, performing his guest vocals on Soft Kill’s 2016 track “On the Inside” live for the very first time.
Will this be an annual event?
We will continue to do what we do but there will only be one A Strange Day. But talk to me in October and see how I feel, I will probably want to do it again.
What is your best or favorite memory from another festival?
My favorite live music experience ever was actually getting to see multiple dates on Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour this year. I have never felt so impacted. Those shows featured elements of experimental music, they had Mike Dean doing live instrumentation, there were VHS collages, moments that incorporated the audiences into the show itself. The sound alone was deafening, often over 150 decibels throughout. Kanye was on a stage that floated above the crowd, he was rarely lit often in total darkness and there were no guest performances. Anyone who underestimates that guy is a clown.
What are your loftiest goals for the event?
I want A Strange Day Festival to feel like coming home after you’ve been away for too long. The last round of early bird tickets are on sale now.
(A Strange Day details are available here:
Early bird tickets are available here: