The sixth annual Squamish Valley Music Festival invaded B.C. last night and featured stellar performances by Sam Smith, Brandon Flowers, Chance the Rapper and more.
More than 125,000 music lovers are expected to attend the four-day event which kicked off Thursday night with performances by Canadian artists like Current Swell and The Funk Hunters.
Vancity Buzz was on the scene to check out the funky sights (and smells) of the festival and here’s a recap of what we saw on Friday:
3 – number of times Sam Smith has performed in B.C. in the last 12 months
The charismatic crooner played Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre last fall and then played Rogers Arena six months later. Smith’s performance on the Tantalus stage last night was nothing short of magical, and he pretty much charmed the pants off of an already-pantsless crowd.
He ran through “Stay With Me”, “I’m Not The Only One” and a haunting rendition of “I’ve Told You Now” that he dedicated to the partiers in attendance. “I wrote this song when I was drunk,” he told us. “I hope some of you are right now, but try not to drunk-dial those people you fancy.”
165 – number of minutes it takes to pick up a SVMF package at Will Call
Granted, there are lineups for at festivals for everything from food to water to bathrooms, but none were as long or as frustrating as the line outside the Commodore Ballroom to collect festival and camping vouchers.
I counted 244 people in line Friday morning when the box office opened at 11 a.m., and that number ballooned to over 400 by 12:30. Some savvy fans used that downtime to pop into Urban Outfitters to pick up more hipster-y festival gear while most just complained to everyone within earshot. “Never again,” I heard more than once.
2 – number of selfie sticks spotted
Both Coachella and Lollapalooza banned the use of the novelty sticks this year and SVMF tried the same, but that didn’t stop a few badass fans from smuggling them in to ruin everyone’s fun.
500+ – number of volunteers onsite daily
More than 3,000 hopefuls apply for the coveted weekend gig every year. I saw volunteers pass out water to the thirsty, carry camping equipment for the lazy and pick up trash left behind by the douchey. Pitching in is hard work but the benefits are sweet – I saw a couple of off-duty volunteers bounce along to Chance The Rapper’s set on the Stawamus Stage.
5:2 – ratio of flowered crowns to man buns spotted
The American Apparel crowd was out in full force Friday afternoon and we spotted dozens of Lana Del Rey-style flowered headpieces at every show. We saw maybe 10 man buns, mostly at Brandon Flowers’ set on the main stage. Speaking of Brandon…
4 – number of covers performed by Brandon Flowers
Not surprisingly, they were all songs by his former band The Killers. Flowers sang a handful of songs from his solo album The Desired Effect but fans saved their loudest singing voices for the old stuff like “Mr. Brightside”, “Human”, and “Read My Mind”.
81 – number of food vendors at SVMF
There’s a whole smorgasbord of food options available for festival-goers, but our favourite was the Whistler Wood Fired Pizza Co. $34 gets you a large pepperoni pizza and sometimes an impromptu song by the employees – I was treated to a horribly off-key version of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” while I waited for my pie.
820 – number of security and medical staff onsite each day
And that’s not counting the Fun Police, pictured here. Find them online at @FUNPOLICEYVR.
1,299 – price, in Canadian dollars, to “glamp”
Music lovers were given the option to camp in style this weekend with a “glamping” package that included free water, free ice, and free wi-fi. But is it worth the extra $950? Well, they also have “premium air-conditioned flushing toilet trailers”, so yeah.
Squamish Valley Music Festival continues Saturday with performances by Drake, Of Monsters and Men and A$AP Rocky.