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Green Sessions at VAL – An Event Review

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blog2I had a good feeling that Green Sessions at The Vancouver Art and Leisure Centre was going to be a blast. Boasting 3 rooms, 15 DJs and art installations is usually enough to get me to daydream about a fantastic night, but this show exceeded my expectations by a long shot.

As soon as I ran into the happy, talkative, and inviting security personnel I could tell that the vibes throughout the night would be great. Just past coat check was a giant jenga table in a green lit room full of fresh faces introducing themselves and hugging. I stuck around there for a little while and mopped the floor with those Jenga losers. Actually, I was the one that lost… back to the point!

blog5After entering the main room, it became clear that interactive games were a focus of our hosts! Giant puzzles that strangers could build and destroy together were just out of the way of the dance floor. In another corner of this room, a group of artists were painting peoples faces with UV reactive paint, giving the crowd another opportunity to add to this show’s visual appeal.

I had the opportunity to ask Jay Lau from NDVR (one of the hosts) about their focus on interactive installations and he was more than excited to sit down and talk with me.

“We were brainstorming on how to make this show more interactive, so we made mixed media puzzle art pieces and giant Jenga. We wanted to create a unique visual hands on experience, so that the audience would connect on an intimate level. NDVR’s biggest inspiration behind our parties is Shambhala. We wanted to recreate the Shambhala experience: music and art causing people to come together, and most of the people that come here are all very creative. The goal was to maintain this unique intimate experience.”

Clearly, NDVR hosts a crew with the right philosophies towards event organization.

blog3The main stage was incredibly well put together! Cat’s Eye Productions had proven – as per usual, that they are experts at making a regular venue look like a high budget festival. There was almost no need for a second stage as the crowd mostly stuck to the main room enjoying the likes of House, Hard Electro, Glitch Hop, Dubstep, and Trap. The amount of people attending did not get out of hand and the crowd was of very high quality. It was so pleasant to be in a room where everyone was completely comfortable interacting with one another. It was a relatively small but extremely energetic crowd, and we danced and pranced and gave high fives until our hosts began kicking us out. It took us forever to actually leave because we kept getting tied up in Jenga and singing songs like ‘closing time’ and meeting new people that we hadn’t run into yet. I think I was actually the last audience member to leave the place.

blog4The highlight of my night was racing home to make tacos and then coming back to the venue to try and give Hertz Donut, the headliners, tacos during their set. They politely declined my exuberant and loud offer of “TAAAACOOOOOOOOOOOS!” so I handed them out to people in the crowd. Those cats were so into it. Shortly thereafter I realized I had made the fatal mistake of grabbing the wrong food and was about to race over to Tim Hortons to grab two dozen donuts to hand out, but the DJs switched over right as this bright idea took hold of me. If anyone sees Hertz Donuts perform after reading this article… bring donuts.

blog6Brief autobiographies aside, NDVR, Moko and Quack Recordings had the intention of bringing the intimacy and connectivity of Shambhala to a warehouse in Vancouver, and they nailed it! I highly recommend going to their next show, but – sorry to disappoint, there won’t be another colour theme for a long while. The colour green was to celebrate the first day of Spring, and being in a room full of friendly, beautiful people adorned in my favourite colour was definitely the best way to celebrate Spring Equinox.

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About the Author

Dan has been dedicating his time to music since he was a young lad. Took off from a butt hole town in Ontario to go to The Musicians Institute of Hollywood in pursuit of this passion. The plan was to stop in Vancouver for a year to save some dough, but he took up the reigns of establishing an experimental analog instrument project that took inspiration from electronic sounds. While losing faith in Vancouver’s analog scene (the body of christ may be a more flavourful cracker) he found the phenomenal community and mutual support system that revolves around the electronic scene incredibly inspiring - and that’s completely separate to the intellect and diversity of the musicians.

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