As the clocks (aimlessly) roll forward again, there is sad news to share.
After five amazing years of taking over nooks, crannies, businesses and empty spaces in downtown Kitchener with pop-up art, weird live performances and random programming on the evening of the fall time change, Night\Shift Placehacking Festival is retiring. Zero funds have been raised to put on a sixth festival in early November 2018, and there are no plans or resources to produce another one.
The reason is pretty straightforward and relatable. Developing and delivering an offbeat, unpredictable and many, many-headed undertaking like Night\Shift requires an awful lot of time, money and organizational effort. And while the festival’s collaborations with mostly local artists have been a blast to produce, Night\Shift’s board of directors has been unable to develop a succession plan to overcome the fact that the side-hustle required to make this festival is no longer sustainable alongside the demands of other full-time gigs and waking/sleeping life. So 2017’s festival was, unfortunately, the end.
It does sting a little to say farewell to Night\Shift, but it’s also a huge relief — and incredibly satisfying to reflect on. I’m so proud of and completely floored by what Night\Shift has done. Over the course of five elaborate instalments, Night\Shift paid more than 400 artists to create more than 125 pieces of original programming, helping flip the idea that Kitchener’s core is a place to avoid exploring. The festival has sparked fabulous collaborations and stunning re-imaginations of many under-appreciated spaces, attracted rad experimental music acts to play Kitchener, and orchestrated a whole lotta lovely moments. A huge thank you to everyone who shared in Night\Shift’s vision and supported it with your eyeballs, ears, hands, hearts, minds, money and moves.
To give the festival a proper goodbye, the board is currently making plans for a farewell party. We’re aiming to host this event on Saturday, May 12th at the Kitchener Market. It’ll include food and drink, live music and a small collection of past Night\Shift projects brought back out to play.
As party plans congeal, we’ll create a fazeboog event on the festival’s page, update this blog post and do some half-assed promo. Stay tuned for more details about Night\Shift’s last placehack!
— Eric Rumble, Night\Shift founder & festival director, March 10th\\11th 2018