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Best local music festival 

Halifax Pop Explosion

Also sharing the award for best live show, the Halifax Pop Explosion proves once again that great bands about to blow up on the national and international stage will make the trip to Halifax. This is the third win in a row for the beloved HPX. “I think this year had a lot of cutting edge stuff and I think this year had a lot of the ‘I can’t believe I got this band to come here,’” co-organizer Waye Mason says. “That’s what we’ve consistently tried to do the last four or five years.” Who can forget the ultra-sweaty, ultra-energetic Arcade Fire show? Or the all-ages, afternoon showcase with The Organ and controller.controller? Or what about The Hidden Cameras show at St. Matthew’s? Now in its 12th year, the HPX shows no signs of slowing down. “Every year it gets easier and more people volunteer,” Mason says. “I said to [co-organizer] Steve Lutwick at one point, ‘This must be what it feels like to run the jazz fest after 25 years.’ It’s still an intense week for the organizer, but it’s so worth it.”

Runners-up: Atlantic Jazz Festival, Evolve Festival

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