By Joshua Erickson
2016 UPDATE: This article was published in late June 2015 for last year’s incarnation of the festival. Check this article for the latest on this year’s FVDED In the Park.
VANCOUVER — Let’s get two things straight right off the bat. First, its pronounced “faded,” not however you are phonetically trying to sound out “FVDED,” and second, this is not simply a party or a rave – this is a full-blown festival. Taking place July 3-4 at Surrey’s beautiful Holland Park, FVDED in the Park is a first for local promoters/production team Blueprint and, according to Blueprint co-founder Alvaro Prol, is Blueprint’s most ambitious project yet.
“We really consider this the first year of the festival. We did a party called FVDED in the Park twice already, but the party was small in the sense that it was one stage, one day,” says Prol, who is also the creative director of the festival. Prol, along with partner Eric Hoffman, conceptualized it, booked it, and spearheaded all major operations of the ambitious two-day festival. Talking with Prol, he reveals Blueprint has been trying to do a major outdoor event for years – which they achieved last year joining up with Squamish Valley Music Festival – but that wasn’t exactly what Prol had in mind. He envisioned one inside the city limits that is cheap, accessible, and with a diverse array of artists.
“We’ve been wanting to do a festival downtown forever… because it’s expensive to go to a festival. Y’know, you have to pay for camping or you have to drive to Whistler and all these other expenses.” Realizing there was untapped potential for throwing a big festival in the city, Blueprint saw their opportunity to make FVDED in the Park into something bigger.
“It’s never been a lack of trying. ‘Hey, I wanna do a massive outdoor event in downtown Vancouver!’ OK. But where? Where can you do it? What people don’t realize that there is actually no option,” Prol laments. With the goal of turning FVDED from a party into a full on festival, they were going to need a lot more space – space that is hard to come by in Vancouver. Surrey’s Holland Park provided the answer. With a capacity of 22,000 and being conveniently located in between Surrey Central and King George Skytrain stations, the massive, beautiful, and easily accessible park in Surrey proved the ideal location.
“I still see it as Vancouver, because its so close. Its not like ‘I’m going to Sasquatch!’ and you drive five hours,” says Prol with a laugh. “No, I hope this is the kind of event where people can be downtown, its two in the afternoon and be like, ‘Hey, lets head to FVDED in the Park!’ Boom. OK, Skytrain 40 minutes later you’re there. It’s still part of the city because it’s so accessible.”
Not only has the festival expanded in size, but it has also expanded in scope, booking a diverse array of dance, hip-hop, and R&B acts. Headlining Day 1 is Canadian EDM megastar and professional troll Deadmau5 with support from California’s Tyler, The Creator, enigmatic Detroit rapper Danny Brown, U.K. dance guru Pete Tong and more. Day 2 is headlined by another Canadian, the Toronto heartbreaker The Weeknd, with support coming from Kelowna’s dubstep superstar Excision, Kanye West collaborator Vic Mensa, and rounding out the line up is Vancouver’s own Humans and Flipout.
“We as music lovers, we love it all… Blueprint is a diverse company. And we really saw a summer festival and something broader than just a dance festival. We wanted people to be able to have different experiences throughout the day… to have those different changes of vibe,” smiles Prol. “The idea is, our interests are broader than dance music. We want to promote our interests because, ultimately, that’s what we are – we’re promoters.”
As any festival goer will know, though, festivals are about more than just the music. “Oh! The food options!” says Prol excitedly. Pulling in food vendors and trucks from all over the province, attendees will have a legitimate smorgasbord of options for any diet or taste. With the website also promoting art installations and “interactive elements,” the festival is sure to provide plenty of entertainment while attendees want to take a break from the music.
Prol is also quick to note that the festival production for FVDED in the Park is unlike anything Blueprint has attempted so far and he is excited to see the reaction of people when they start watching the music and the festival’s two stages.
“The investment in the production is on another scale. It’s the biggest investment we’ve done as a company so far. The stage is massive… We have two stages, actually, and the production is huge on both. It’s very exciting.”
FVDED in the Park takes place July 3-4 at Holland Park in Surrey, B.C. and is headlined by Deadmau5 and The Weeknd. Single Day and Weekend Passes are available now. Visit http://fvdedinthepark.com for more.BC, Blueprint, British Columbia, dance, EDM, festival season, FVDED in the Park, hip hop, Surrey