Ontario’s Ever After festival is just around the corner. Popular names like Excision, Claude VonStroke, Flux Pavilion and more will be taking the stage, along with loads of up-and-comers, such as Sullivan King, Wooli, Dombresky and more.

We chatted with Ever After’s head organizer Gabriel Mattacchione from Beyond Oz Productions about this year’s festival. He shares his thoughts on Datsik’s removal from the lineup, the brand new activities that will be available and more.

Hi Gabriel, thanks for chatting with us today! Can you give us some background on yourself and your role with Beyond Oz Productions Inc. and Ever After?

I went to school at Seneca College in Canada for business entrepreneurship and marketing. After that I transitioned into the family business of venture capitalists – that’s how Ever After was born along with Beyond Oz, which was created with me leading the company as President. I touch every aspect of the festival and all products Beyond Oz handles from A – Z. From planning, strategy to execution, I’m personally involved in everything.

Ever After has been taking over the Ontario area for a few years now. What do you love about this festival?

I love the international exposure and visits we get each year. Ever After attracts festival goers from all over the world, we’ve sold tickets in countries I couldn’t even imagine. Once the festival starts, the feeling you get from watching thousands of smiles walk through the gates never gets old. All the extra experiences we create for patrons has always been something I love about Ever After the most. It’s the ultimate utopian-themed adult playground.

In addition to an exciting and diverse lineup this year, what else will be on-site at the festival that fans will be able to enjoy?

Countless midway rides, our famous water park and wave pool, and games! Also our new extreme activation area that includes zip lining, that’s guaranteed to be a huge hit.

Ever After offers the option to camp off-site. Do you believe that camping adds to the experience?

Whether you’re camping on or off-site, camping definitely adds to the Ever After experience. There’s nothing like spending a weekend making friends and hanging out with like-minded people who are looking to have a good time, just like you are. I wish we had enough room to camp every single patron as it ties a bow on top of the getaway experience that Ever After is.

It’s hard to avoid mentioning Datsik who was initially billed at the top of the lineup. Do you have any plans in place to replace him with another artist? If so, can you give us any hints as to who that might be?

Whatever challenges get thrown our way, we always want to make sure it doesn’t compromise the festival experience. Keeping that in mind, we added an entire stage on the Friday opening night and a special b2b set from Downlink b2b Space Laces. By the response we’ve gotten so far, festival goers are really looking forward to these new additions.

It seems that you pride yourself on bringing both EDM superstars and emerging acts to the Ontario area via Ever After. Where do you search for up-and-comers to add to your lineup each year?

I spend countless hours on the internet looking for artists I think will blow up by the time Ever After rolls around. Satellite radio helps sometimes but it’s more of a scavenger hunt online.

You’ve undeniably put together a competitive lineup for 2018, but it’s hard for me to ignore the inclusion of any female artists this year, whereas in the past you’ve booked Mija, REZZ and Juicy M. Do you plan to include more women on future lineups?

There’s a lot of work that goes into putting a line-up together, you’re working with a lot of people’s schedules so putting a line-up of this magnitude is no easy feat. Even though there are no female artists this year, we’ve had incredible female performers in the past including Sydney Blu, Juicy M and Mija. Some female acts have also been reoccuring, like Rezz who has performed at the festival multiple years in a row. We’ve had incredible female acts in the past and look forward to having more in the future.

Last, but not least, who are some artists you’re personally most excited about checking out this year

It’s a stacked line-up but without question I’m most excited for Excision, Kayzo, Liquid Stranger, and Claude.

Ever After takes place June 8-10, 2018 at Bingemans Camping Resort in Kitchener, Ontario Check out the full lineup and more information about Ever After fest here.