Tag: music

Vancouver’s birthday party in the park

Vancouver celebrating its 125th birthday
The main stage at Vancouver's birthday celebration

Last weekend Vancouver had a birthday celebration in Stanley Park. Well a major milestone like your city reaching the ripe old age of 125 needs to be marked.

Vancouver put on three days of family oriented events, featuring a lot of local musicians. This is one of those events that Vancouver does so well.

Stanley Park is a perfect location too. You can look across the water at the glass towers of Vancouver’s skyline and the sails of Canada Place, while sitting on the grass and listening to the music.

Some elements were typical of Vancouver. We were encouraged to use public transit, or bikes. There was a free shuttle bus from Canada Place to and from Stanley Park. The wait for this was quite long, so many people ended up walking or getting a cab. Those who did drive were rewarded by spending a lot of time in the resulting traffic jams.

Another Vancouver element was the recycling bins set up all around the stages. These were there to encourage, and educate you, into sorting your recycling appropriately. There were volunteers on hand to help you dispose of your trash in the right bin. They were needed as it was pretty confusing!

The food concessions and giveaways were there to make sure that there was a lot of material available for later disposal in the recycling centres. We ate at the mexican concession, drawn to it by its popularity as much as anything.

There were beer gardens set up. These are fenced off and patrolled by security guards. You needed two pieces of ID to get in and were only permitted two drinks each. Vancouver obviously wanted to ensure drinking was done responsibly.

The overall feel of the event, from our visit on the Friday evening, was of a summer festival. People were chatting, listening to the music, checking out the concession stands and scoring as much free stuff as they could.

Walking back to the Seabus along the seawall, we were reminded of how easy life is in this beautiful city.

Pemberton Festival

Last week was the first Pemberton music festival. I don’t know how well known this was outside of Canada, but here in Vancouver it was pretty big news.

Imagine, a sleepy little town like Pemberton. North of Whistler and with a population of around 4,000 people at most. This town is in the valley, overlooked by Mt Currie. Its main industry is farming.

Some 40,000 people came for the 3 day festival to see such acts as Coldplay, Tom Petty, Death Cab for Cutie, Nine Inch Nails, and Jay-Z amongst many others. So ten times the normal population? No wonder there were traffic problems. But that was actually the only major problem. Everything else seemed to go well.

Amazing really when you think of all those people camping in fields, lining up for food, drink and the loo. (Sorry washroom). The less hardy music lovers were able to stay in comfort in nearby Whistler – and pop in for the day. Whichever way you look at it, the event was well received and is likely to be an annual feature of our summer.

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