FESTIVAL MAN, Sex, Drink and Accordions

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 8:00pm
The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W.
FESTIVAL MAN, Sex, Drink and Accordions

Sex, drink and accordions.

A deliciously twisted celebration of Geoff Berner—the man, the musician and now, the novelist.

With special participation by Dave Bidini.

Read the wonderful book review on Macleans.ca Festival Man By Geoff Berner. 

"The best rock n' roll novel since Whale Music."
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Doors open at 7:30 p.m/
Event starts at 8:00 p.m.

The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

1214 Queen Street West/
M6J 1J6/
$5 entrance fee or FREE with purchase of the book

“Festival” surprise: listen to the soundtrack of Festival Man at the Gladstone! Featuring Geoff Berner songs adapted by Rae Spoon. Kaizers Orchestra. Corb Lund. ESL, Kris Demeanor. Carolyn Mark. Orchid Ensemble.  Dave Lang. And some other people we won't tell you about yet!

Join Dundurn Press, the Toronto Review of Books and TINARS (This is Not a Reading Series) for an evening of music, no holds barred talk, and merriment. Geoff Berner, amazing accordionist, raconteur and novelist, will combine forces with writer-musician Dave Bidini to launch Festival Man, a book that about a man made of equal parts bullshit and inspiration, in what is ultimately a crazed panegyric to the power of strange music to change people from the inside out.

Spare and pointed, yet willfully ticklish, Geoff’s fictional debut chimes with summer truths and rock and roll lies. A great companion to any Canadian road trip.—Dave Bidini

At turns funny and strangely sobering, Festival Man is a picaresque tale of inspired, heroic deceit, incompetence, and -- just possibly -- triumph. Follow the flailing escapades of maverick music manager Campbell Ouiniette at the Calgary Folk Festival, as he leaves a trail of empty liquor bottles, cigarette butts, bruised egos, and obliterated relationships behind him. His top headlining act has abandoned him for the Big Time. In a fit of self-delusion or pure genius (or perhaps a bit of both), Ouiniette devises an intricate scam, a last hurrah in an attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of his girlfriend, the music industry, and the rest of the world. He reveals his path of destruction in his own transparently self-justifying, expulsive, profane words, with digressions into the Edmonton hardcore punk rock scene, the Yugoslavian Civil War, and other epicentres of chaos.

“What's my book about?  It's the fictional memoirs of a drunk, psychotic, dishonest, ludicrous, somewhat inspirational music manager named Campbell Ouiniette.  Sometimes I think it's a masterpiece, and sometimes I think it's a bunch of silliness.  But I guarantee that it's not boring. It's funnier than Anna Karenina, and shorter, too.”
Geoff Berner

“A demented part of me hopes the suction cups hanging Mr. Geoff Berner to the side of the planet will lose their grip and that he, and his manuscript, will hurl off. Because then I can steal a bunch of his lines - lines I would have written if only I'd thought of them myself. (I'm a huge fan. I was laughing out loud even before I started reading his book - and he hasn't disappointed me.)”
Susan Musgraveauthor of Kiss Tickle Cuddle Hug and You’re in Canada Now, Motherfucker

“A blind sleigh ride through more of the music business - with a side of Canadian-eh? good-natured desperation - than most decent readers might be bargaining for. Warning, amid the fun and frolic there is much to fear here!”
Dennis. E. Bolen
, author of Anticipate Results and Kasploit!

“I've known Geoff Berner was one of Canada's best writers since discovering his deliciously twisted, sobering, smart smart smart, and whiskey-soaked lyrics years back. In Festival Man, he cuts a swath through the music scene with an antic and destructively hilarious scythe. This novel is so subversively good, so profanely sacred, with its global savvy and deluded genius anti-hero, that I'm torn between hiding it from my 13-year-old son (a Berner fan) or propping it up against his cereal bowl.”
Zsuzsi Gartner
, author of the Giller Prize-nominated Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

Geoff Berner graduated from the University of British Columbia Creative Writing Program, where he received the Harry and Hilda Smith Foundation scholarship for top undergraduate student. He has written TV scripts for Sesame Street.

He is an international touring singer/songwriter/accordionist who has played in eighteen countries.  Currently signed to Mint Records, he has 5 studio albums to his credit.  His last album, Victory Party, won the Canadian Folk Music award for "Pushing the Boundaries". This summer, he was invited by legendary English punk folksinger Billy Bragg to play at "Leftfield", Bragg's political song stage at the famous Glastonbury Festival. 

Dave Bidini is a Canadian musician and writer. He was a founding member of the rock band Rheostatics, and currently performs with Bidiniband. Bidini has published several books about music, travel and sports including The Five Hole Stories (2006), For Those About to Write (2007), Around the World in 57½ Gigs (2007), Home and Away: In Search of Dreams at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer (2010), A Wild Stab For It: This Is Game Eight From Russia (2012) and Keon and Me (2013).

This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS) offers a ground-breaking theatrical dimension to the appreciation of fine writing. Employing music, comedy, psychodrama, dance, multimedia performance, lectures, dialogue—everything but reading—TINARS investigates the creative process behind literary works. www.tinars.ca

Dundurn Press was founded in 1972. At first a small publisher of Canadian nonfiction, focusing on military history, current affairs, politics, and biography, the company has since expanded, most recently acquiring Thomas Allen Publishers. Publishing more than 100 books a year, the publishing program now includes award-winning adult and YA fiction, mysteries, biographies, business, and current affairs titles, as well as a wide range of military history. www.dundurn.com

Media Contacts:
Karen McMullin (Dundurn); 416-214-5544 x227
Marc Glassman (TINARS)