Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Rocked Those Shores Again

   A few days ago, the largest outdoor music festival to hit the Victoria region, Rock The Shores, took place and for the second year in a row I got to play a big part in the event's production. It was a lot of very hard work and there were some lessons learned along the way, but I honestly have to say it was a privilege to be part of such an amazing team and to be a part of something people will be talking about for a long time to come.
   Over two very hot days, thousands of music lovers were treated to a barrage of outstanding performances from a dozen mostly Canadian acts such as: 54-40, Sam Roberts, Mother Mother, City And Colour, Jimmy Eat World, AWOLNation, Acres Of Lions, Reignwolf, The Sheepdogs, Matthew Good, Vince Vaccaro and headliners Weezer.
   While a lot of hard work went in to putting on the event, the payoff was a collection of experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. I reconnected with old friends and made some new friends along the way and I must have had a million conversations with so many interesting people. It wasn't all fun and games and beer, though. That came after we all worked our asses off to put on a show for 10,000 people a day.
  It started several days before the show with setting up the fields and protecting the lawn from heavy equipment by laying down hundreds of sheets of plywood.
   The mobile stage arrived the next day and was assembled throughout the afternoon, then the sound and light team took over and installed their gear.
   Once the festival kicked off I was assigned to roam around the upper portion of the field and help out wherever needed. I may not have gotten close to the stage, but thanks to the amazing sound guys I had no problems hearing and enjoying some of my favorite bands.
   Headliners Weezer closed out the show late Sunday evening and played all their best known hits. By that time I was able to get closer to the stage and as my colleague Joe put it: "There's nothing like standing at the side of the stage and hearing 10,000 people just having fun!"
   Alas, all good things must come to an end and those of us on the crew all knew we had some more work to do before we could join the party backstage. Once the band left the stage after their encore, we had to make sure those 10,000 people got out safely and then start cleaning up after them. Not the most delightful task, but an important one nonetheless.
    A few key pieces of equipment were packed up in their respective trucks so that the drivers could make it to the early ferries off the Island the next morning, and then, at long last, our bosses finally said it was beer o'clock. The party was on!
    As anyone who's hosted a big party will know, the cleanup the next morning can be a little rough, especially when burned out from the night before, but we promised Westshore Parks And Rec that we'd leave the field as spotless as we could and we delivered. The stage was dismantled and the tents put away. I even had a little group of helpers following me around as I swept the field!  
   All in all, Rock The Shores 2013 was an incredible experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Well, maybe after a few days out of the sun eating home cooked food. There's only so much festival food a guy can handle.
   Bring on Rock The Shores 2014!
The Wandering Oak

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