I think that any fan of live music would agree that there’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing one of your favourite bands perform live. Watching a band you love and looking behind you to an endless sea of singing, happy people who are enjoying it just as much as you are, is an energizing feeling that livens you to the core. That feeling of oneness while surrounded by tens of thousands of people is an experience that Rockfest has succeeded to give to their audience again this year.
Dancing away to “Beer” by Reel big Fish.
Seeing a band for the first time and loving every note played (Rocket From The Crypt).
Getting to experience this crazy festival with a couple of my best friends.
The process to enter Rockfest ran much smoother than it did in 2013. Since they sent the wristbands in the mail ahead of time, we didn’t have to wait in line to swap tickets for bands. They also added another entrance and exit. Although the line to get into the festival was quite long the first day, it moved pretty quickly and we didn’t have to wait too long to re-enter later that day.
Camping on a lawn worked out well. It was a bit of a risk to agree to accommodation from a Kijiji ad and send through a $60 deposit ahead of time, but when we got there it was just as expected, and everything worked out great. We heard from other festival-goers that there was a slim chance of getting sleep in the general camping, and that VIP wasn’t much better. I also read in some Facebook comments that people who paid for parking weren’t able to enter the lot due to cars getting stuck in the mud (not sure how accurate that is). Luckily, we had a parking spot right in front our tent, which was super convenient for charging our phones. If I go again next year I think I’ll consider booking a room in a hotel far in advance for a bit of extra comfort and a shower!
The line-up was well planned and worked out perfectly. We got to see almost every band we wanted to see in their entirety. There were a couple instances where a band would start before the set beside them had finished, but on with the show!
One thing they didn’t have this year was the carnival and street performer portion. I think that part added a lot of character and gave people something to do and talk about when there’s some down time in between sets they want to see. I was really looking forward to seeing what would be there this year, so hopefully they’ll bring back a few things next year.
Let’s talk about toilets. As you may have heard, in 2013 there was quite a bit of overflow in front of some of the portipotties, but there were also a big grouping of toilets on top of the hill that never had a lineup, so clearly those were the ones to use. This year, the section by the main stage got a bit messy, but the other two areas remained fairly clean. Unfortunately there was always a wait for the toilet any time after about 4:00 p.m. Hopefully they’ll up the ante next year and add some more.
So, what about the beer you ask? Well, for starters drinking in the streets was legal this year, which made things easy breezy. They had a few Bud vendors setup on the streets, and you could take your cans anywhere except for in the festival. Getting beer inside went just as smoothly as last year. Since you pay with cash and there is only one kind of beer, the lineup moves super quick. And again, they had the beer dudes walking around balancing a few pounds of beer over their heads. This was super convenient when we were watching Lagwagon by the front of the stage and wanted a cold one to enjoy the show. This is the best setup for beer I’ve seen at a festival by far.
Food options were pretty good. I would guess there were at least 15 food trucks with most serving poutine, which was delicious by the way. They also had a vegan truck, tacos, sandwiches, pizza, and even some people walking around with cups of fruit for purchase too. On Saturday we started the day off with some pizza. As we each polished off a slice and were sitting contently, I mentioned that it’s probably a good thing we didn’t get a box because I wouldn’t know when to stop it tasted so good… Just then, a guy comes along and offers us the rest of their box of pizza. We open it up and there was one slice for each of us. After laughing it off, we all dug in. Perfect base for some more beers!
So, all in all, it was another awesome experience. There were definitely some major improvements from last year. Have you been to this festival? If so, I would love to hear how your experience was. And if you haven’t been, you need to GO next year!!