Altekrea Festival

Weekend frenzy of festivals ushers in new Waterloo Region season

By Gordon Paul | Record Reporter | PDF Article | The Record | Toronto Star | The Peterborough Examiner | Brampton Guardian | New Hamburg Independent | Muskoka Region Newspaper | Simcoe County Newspaper
Sun., June 19, 2016

Erica Furness lies down on a bed of nails

Erica Furness on a bed of nails

The quirkiest performer at city hall was Erica Furness. Dressed in little more than a bikini, Furness laid down on a bed of nails.

The performance is not for everyone.

“Some people can’t watch it, but they never really look away either,” the Toronto woman said.

“They cover their face and try not to look but peek through their fingers. That’s a compliment to me. That means I’m doing a good job.”

Furness invited audience members to staple-gun donations to her arm.

This part of the act is popular at “freak shows,” but few took her up on the offer Saturday night.

“This is a crowd that isn’t used to this,” she said.

Furness, with fresh staple marks on her arm, said she doesn’t have a high tolerance for pain.

“I actually dislike pain very much — I just like performing. During rehearsals, I whine so much about the bed of nails. Like, ‘I don’t like it, it hurts,’ but when I’m performing, it doesn’t matter. I don’t feel it.”

She said she has never been badly injured.

“Every now and then you get a little bit of a wound, but nothing major at all. I’ve done a lot of training.”

Furness, who wouldn’t give her age but looks to be in her 20s, has been doing performance art for six years.

“I started dancing when I was four years old and just kind of took to the arts. I love performing.”

Erica Furness playing with fire at Altekrea

This excerpt was written by Record reporter, Gordon Paul.
Read the full article of the Altekrea festival at