By Matt Blair
EndFair is an annual music festival hosted by the Fairhaven Hall Council. In years past EndFair has been hosted over two days in early spring, but this year EndFair coordinators Jen Moore and Lizzie Lamb wanted to extend the festival to three days.
Moore and Lamb admit that they had ambitious plans when they were selected to coordinate EndFair this past September. Last year’s organizers scheduled seven bands. Moore and Lamb have doubled the number of acts for this year’s EndFair, something they believe will bring more students to the event. This year’s headlining act features Seattle-based hip-hop artist Common Market, a key collaborator with the Blue Scholars.
Initially, the coordinating duo suggested using dinosaurs as a possible theme for this year’s EndFair only until they could think of something else. Eventually the theme stuck so Moore and Lamb decided to go with it.
Thursday, the first day of the festival, will kick off at 8 p.m. in front of the Fairhaven auditorium with an open mic night. Signups are located in the front part of the Fairhaven building. Anyone can sign up as long as their act is under five minutes.
On Friday, following Thursday’s open mic night, will be a performance by Alaska-based band No-Fi Soul Rebellion (NFSR). NFSR’s performances are very crowd-focused, as lead singer Mark Heimer often takes the mic into the audience during their powerpop songs. Lamb said she expects people to follow the spirit of the show.
“The goal of having No-Fi Soul Rebellion is to have a dance party,” Lamb said.
Starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, nine different musical acts will take stage for over seven nonstop hours of music. The Senate, a Seattle rock ’n’ roll string band, will return to Western at 2:30 p.m. The Senate is one of a number of bands leading up to the main act, Common Market.
Common Market is a hip-hop duo made up of singer RA Scion and Blue Scholars DJ Sabzi. Last September Common Market released their second album titled “Tobacco Road,” an 18-song collection playing RA Scion’s lyrics about his past over Sabzi’s traditionally heavy beats. Common Market’s performance at EndFair will be the first time the duo will be playing together at Western this year.
Addition, a rock quartet made up of Fairhaven and Western students, will open for Common Market on Saturday night. Moore said she is particularly interested in seeing how Addition performs at EndFair.
“I’m excited for Addition because they’re local, they’re Western students and they always put on a good show,” Moore said.
Addition’s performance at EndFair will mark their third time playing at Western in nine days. Lead guitarist Nic Brodine said that Addition likes playing in Bellingham because they often feel welcomed by the audience at their shows.
“In Bellingham you have more of a community, it’s a lot smaller,” Brodine said. “It’s easier to do our style of music in Bellingham than Seattle.”
Brodine, bass player Joey Bennett and drummer Trevor Spencer met in grade school and have been performing music together since high school. When they came to Western, they met their fourth member, tambourine player Laine Kenniston.
For the last year Addition has been writing and recording an hour and a half long rock opera titled “The Hallelujah Bird Chorus,” which they recently completed. The bird theme came to the band as a result of Brodine’s habit of listening to bird sounds while he was in the woods writing songs on his guitar.
According to Spencer, the group was also inspired by a quote from Bill O’Reilly, the popular political commentator and host of “The O’Reilly Factor.” During one of the outtakes of his show, O’Reilly, while still on camera, said a particular expletive before finishing the sentence with “we’ll do it live!” The band took O’Reilly’s outburst to heart and recorded many of their songs on the first take, including the final track, a 25-minute long song recorded in the Fairhaven Auditorium during a snowstorm.
During many of their live performances, Addition said they like to experiment and improvise in the middle of their songs. Kenniston said that the group was excited to open for Common Market and would be sure to put on the type of show they’re known for.
“We just want to rock and roll,” Kenniston said.
EndFair will wrap up Sunday at 1 p.m. with a performance by a magician and closing sets by bands Tiny Vipers and New Faces.
All events are free to attend. There will be shirts on sale for $10 as well as the chance to dunk Fairhaven RAs in a dunk tank for $4. All proceeds will go to the Slum Doctors Programme, a Bellingham-based charity that brings assistance to African villages in need. In the event of rain, EndFair will be moved to the Fairhaven auditorium.