What began as a reason to hold house shows three years ago has blossomed into a musical movement based on one simple premise:
Good vibrations spread.
London’s Good Vibes Only Festival brought 17 acts from across Canada to the Rum Runners’ stage Nov. 3-4. The festival attracted about 150 people per night, which is exactly what organizer Spencer Frost expected.
What set Good Vibes Only apart from other music festivals in London is that it wasn’t selling a musical experience – it was selling a mood. This has been GVO’s philosophy since day one.
A good mix
The lineup was eclectic, with reggae, folk, funk and dance music spread over two days and two stages. Their unifying factor was music that gets people moving.
“The room was alive from front to back,” Frost said. “Everywhere you went people were smiling and dancing.”
However, good vibes weren’t just limited to what was coming through the speakers.
In addition to the musical acts, eight visual artists also had their works on display at the festival.
Frost said the ‘extended members’ of the Good Vibes family were happy to lend their work to the festival.
Good Vibes Only attracted a large amount of sponsor support. A slew of local sponsors – from retailers to promoters to media outlets – all played a part in making the festival happen. Frost credited the festival crew for doing a great job making sure things ran smoothly.
A festival-goer himself, Frost said he wanted to bring together all the best elements of what he has experienced from different venues. But the true success of GVO was in the crowd it attracted. There were no egos, no fronting, no aggression. Frost said the audience embodied the spirit of the festival.
“It’s always been about the people at these events,” he said. “They show up and they are good vibes.
“They’ve always been good like that.”
Feeling the love
A glance at GVO’s facebook page and one can understand exactly what he means. People from across southwestern Ontario were spreading the love around with many accolades for Frost and the Good Vibes crew. It looks good for the future of the festival, which had very humble beginnings.
When Good Vibes Only got its start with house parties three years ago, the goal was to provide a positive experience for people to get together and enjoy great bands.
At the time, Frost said, the name of the shows was also the only rule.
“I always try to highlight that,” he said. “(Good Vibes Only) is not a promotion only. It’s a state of mind.”
Since then, the vibes have spread to include regular shows at venues throughout the city – all with a focus on music you can feel and dance to. Over the years, Frost has built up several working relationships with local artists and bands – many of whom were eager to participate in this year’s festival.
“A lot of bands were looking to book,” he explained. “I’ve got a pretty decent roster of bands I go to.”
Several local acts played alongside headliners DJ Shub, KC Roberts and the Live Revolution, the good vibes were heard, felt and passed on.
It just goes to show – put out positive energy and the universe will reciprocate.
Good vibes can’t be stopped.
Feature photo by Smash Tha Snap