by Yasmine Shemesh
In an effort to make all-ages shows more common in Vancouver’s music community, Venue Nightclub is hosting a special pilot program after successfully lobbying the City of Vancouver.
On Saturday, July 20 during lo-fi pop artist Cuco’s gig at the nightclub, the trial run will split the floor plan of the two-level space in half — the upstairs balcony bar will serve alcohol to individuals over the age of 19, while the main floor is reserved for all ages, with a non-alcoholic bar service. The organizers will also have site maps on hand to illustrate the specific boundaries.
“If we’re not part of this new generation coming up in halls and alt-spaces we’re not adequately supporting a thriving community,” says Crispin Giles, senior promoter and concert division manager at Blueprint Events. “Being part of this groundswell shows that Vancouver can produce professional, mixed all-ages events like our friends in Seattle, Los Angeles and all over the world.”
Accessibility has long been a point of contention in the local music community, with bylaw restrictions on age at licensed establishments.
“I think the most important issues are always surrounding safety and providing a safe place to support these scenes,” Giles says. “After producing a ton of all-ages events at Venue and Fortune Sound Club — as well doing large-scale festivals for a number of years — we’ve built the framework from the ground up, producing great, safe experiences. Along the way, we’ve also built real trust from everyone involved, from kids’ parents to policy-makers in the city. This success has evolved to afford us the ability to pitch the idea with a good deal of support.”
Giles predicts an increase in artists who have an all-ages draw performing in Vancouver — Cuco’s show was chosen intentionally to launch the pilot program for his mixed-age fanbase — and hopes that it’ll encourage similar events to start taking place throughout Vancouver.
“At the end of the day, I’d love to see everybody having access to these kinds of events, from promoters to venue operators to fans,” he says. “This is about supporting culture in our environment and establishing a sustainable future for promoting the nighttime economy in this city. We’re stoked to be a part of it.”
all ages, Blueprint Events, Cuco, Venue Nightclub