2020 Lowell

XFest Returns to Lowell MA!

UTEC, 35 Warren St. Lowell MA: March 6 – 8, 2020

Donation of $15 sliding scale per night

Organizers: Dei Xhrist, Walter Wright, Tara Toms

The venue is a beautifully renovated church – the oldest LEEDS Platinum certified building – about a mile from mass transit, with nearby off-street parking, handicap access and elevators, and wonderful beautiful necessary climate control.

New this year: all three days will be dedicated to improv challenges.

Are you interested in hosting a traveling performer, helping out at the event, or donating? Contact us at xfest @ gmail . com

Performers: Al Margolis, Alessandro Maione (Metaphysical Interior Design), Alex Pelchat, Allie Berger, Aly Gear (Soggy Doggy/Flubber Boiler), Andrea Pensado, Andrew Neumann, Angela Sawyer, Arnaud le Mindu, Bbob Drake (Fluxmonkey), Ben Alman (The Entire Robot), Ben Flagg (CHORD), Ben Miller, Bob Familiar, Brendan Landis (Hey Exit), Chelsea Rowe (c.rowe), Conor Perreault, Craig Chin, Craig Douglas, Curt Haworth, Duane Ingalls, Dubravka Bencic, Elizabeth Karp, Emmanuel Lalande, Eric Baylies, Eric Weidenhof, Federico Balducci, Gahlord Dewald, Greg Paul (Human Flourishing), Greta Ribb (Dump Betty), Ian Kovac, Id M Theft Able, Irman Peck, JB Ledoux, Joe Brown (2KJB), Joe Mygan, Jonas Bers, John Moore, Kat Dobbins, Katherine Liberovskaya, Ken Field, Kieran Morris, Kwami Winfield, Lillian Martin (Mr. Groin), Loren Groenendaal, Mark Cetilia, Mathieu Bec, Matt Wellins, Matthew Azevedo, Mitchel K Ahern (mitchelka), Nathaniel Brennan, Neil Horsky, Nick Bowers, Nico Tracy, Ophra Wolf, Rahul Nair, Ras Moshe Burnette, Rick Breault, Sam Hafferty, Sam Seda (Apis Malfiore), Sam Wenc, Sawyer Philips, Scott Prado, Stella Silbert, Stephanie Marie Germaine, Steven Davis (+DOG+), Tara Toms, Thomas Watkiss (Landless), Tracy Lisk, Vanessa LeFevre, Walter Wright, Will Mk, Zachariah Beaver (Swamp Rat), Zovi McEntee

XFest-pre-fest will be hosted in Lowell at the Wire Factory on March 5, Thursday.

Facebook event page


Friday, March 6

Improv challenges 6pm – 11pm


Saturday, March 7

1pm    Performance aspects of experimental music (Michael Mambrino). Discussion and hands-on exploration of techniques to break out of your performative comfort zone. Free, all ages

2pm   Music as a second language (Neil Horsky, Ian Kovac, Scott Mizrachi). XFest Etiquette: conversations and group musical experimentations related to listening, dynamics, supporting others, silence, etc. Free, all ages

3pm    Improvisation & Decision-making (Gahlord Dewald). Three different ways to be a part of the creation of new sounds and new ideas in our world. Free/donation/trade

4pm   Icepick to the Moon screening and Q&A with director Skizz Cyzyk

“As a radio station music director in the late 80’s, a record came across my desk that changed my life. It was called “Car Radio Jerome” by Rev. Fred Lane & His Hittite Hotshots. I simply didn’t know what to make of it, but I knew that I liked it and had never heard anything quite like it before.” This led Skizz Cyzyk to investigate the origins of Fred Lane, and his subsequent exposure to the Raudelunas arts collective. 99 min screening followed by Q&A. Tickets $10 – at door or contact xfestma @ gmail . com to reserve.

Improv challenges 6pm – 11pm


Sunday, March 8

2pm    Improvisation 101 (Walter Wright).  Improv 101: the basics, exercises in spontaneous group composition. Listening to, looking for, and feeling form. Mutuality! Bring an instrument or just use what you are. 1.5 hrs. Free, all ages

3:30pm    Graphic Score & Found Sound (Ben Miller). Ben Miller will present a Composed Improvisation Workshop using simple structures to organize creative events. Exploring the innate talent of all those who attend will be the focus. Attendees can bring a musical instrument, or obscure soundmaking device, or voice.  There will be two small tape machines and a transistor radio for sound sources, too. Found Sound is encouraged!

Regarding musical technique, we will use whatever we know. If you can sight read, great. If you are unable to read music, no problem. Whatever abilities we have as a large ensemble, we will utilize accordingly. If an attendee is more interested in Dance or Painting, rather than sound, please feel free to attend. We can incorporate more than 1 medium. Musicians, Vocalists, Non-Musicians, Dancers, Painters, anyone is welcome.

In a group setting, attendees will utilize both chance operations and deliberate decision-making to create a Composed Improvisation. Chance operations include rolling dice, use of random numerical sequences, etc. The difference between Composition and Improvisation is both wide and closely knit. Composition is pre-organized ideas. Improvisation is executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation. Our Composed Improvisation will be recorded and sent to all attendees as an MP3. Attendees may videotape, if they wish. Tickets $5-10 – at door

Improv challenges 5pm – 9pm