Interview with Joey Hockin
This is a companion / follow up to my review of the first annual Hyperspace Metal Fest published on April 22nd, 2018. Feel free to enjoy both parts of this feature.
How did you first come up with the idea of Hyperspace?
Early on in 2017 there were a few festivals that had been announced in Vancouver that had really solid lineups, but none of them really represented power metal and the melodic side of metal. I knew there was a large fan base for power metal, but bands playing that genre in western Canada didn’t have an opportunity to get in front of a larger audience of potential fans other than occasionally opening for the big touring bands when they come through. A festival focused on power metal just made sense for both the fans and the bands. So I got to work.
How did come up with the name of Hyperspace for the Fest?
A couple of the bands I had booked early on shared sci-fi themes, so I wanted something along those lines. When a good power metal song is playing it feels like you’re flying through hyperspace, so it fit the festival.
There are already many festivals in Western Canada and a few in Vancouver. What is unique about your Festival?
There is a bit of representation of power metal and melodic metal and some of the larger festivals like Armstrong, Loud as Hell, etc. But, a festival focused on the genre wasn’t really happening.
What was the biggest logistical challenge in organizing an event like this?
Having so many out of town bands definitely presents a challenge. The most challenging part is having all the details finalized early enough that we can announce the festival and have enough time to promote it properly. It takes more time to promote a festival than most shows, so we’ll definitely be announcing next year’s edition much earlier this time.
How do you feel the turnout was? Did it meet and/or surpass your expectations?
The turnout was great. I wasn’t really sure what to expect because I haven’t done another event like this to compare it to, but I was really happy with the turnout. It’s only going to grow from here.
Was it difficult to go from promoter to ‘band mode’ when it was time for your band to hit the stage? Were you able to let go and have fun or were you still worrying about Fest stuff?
I typically hate playing my own shows because I have to split my mind and be a promoter and a band member at the same time. But in this case the production team at the Rickshaw handled everything so well that by the time the bands started I didn’t have much to worry about. I definitely took the time to enjoy at least most of every set.
Were there any highlights in your mind?
Having Helion Prime play their first show in Canada and their first show with the new singer, Sozos, was a really special treat. Finally getting Ravenous: Eternal Hunger out to BC was really great for me as well. I had been trying to get some of the members’ other bands out to BC for years and I had never seen that band play before. Of course playing to one of the biggest crowds Apprentice has ever been in front of was incredible, and I really felt like every band playing was at the top of their game and put on the best performance I’ve ever seen any of those bands play.
Where there any bands you wanted but could not secure?
There was, but I can’t tell you who. I haven’t given up on getting them in future years, though.
Conversely, where there any moments where you felt it could all go off the rails?
Once the show started and it was out of my hands, I really had nothing to worry about. All the bands are pros and, as mentioned, The Rickshaw has the best production team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
Do you have any expansion plans for next year? Have you already started planning? Perhaps Hyperspace merchandise?
Next year will once again be held at The Rickshaw and the dates are April 26 and 27, 2019. I’ve been a little more ambitious with the lineup next year and I’m hoping that this will grow year after year until it’s known as one of the biggest opportunities in North America for bands in the genre!
To conclude, tell people from out of town why they should come to Hyperspace next year!
We had a lot of out of town people in attendance and bands that don’t play Vancouver often or never have, so I really felt like we captured the atmosphere of a festival similar to those that I’ve traveled to in other countries over and over again. I can guarantee a quality lineup with a lot of special treats that you won’t get to see very often, and if you’re a fan of the genre you’ll be among likeminded people for a weekend of celebrating the music that we all love.