I had the opportunity to experience Squamish Festival in a bit of a different fashion this year. No, I didn’t find an outrageous outfit or steal some girls clothing to wear. I joined Mountain Equipment Co-Op to document their #BestWeekendEver winners. These two rad dudes from Ontario won roundtrip airfare, camping gear from MEC, VIP tickets to Squamish Festival, and the opportunity to mountain bike with MEC Envoy Paul Stevens, and rock climb with Sarah Hart. Great, right?
Going mountain biking is my favourite thing ever, but not at 9AM after a wild night of partying and walking across Squamish lost in the morning back to my campsite. Back track to Friday. Picked up the winners, watched them struggle to put up a brand new tent and made them crawl into their sleeping bags for a photo at midday under the burning August sunshine. We slammed a couple drinks and made our way in to Loggers Park. The bus ride into the festival from our campsite was a mix between hell rides in Southeast Asia, and Calgary Stampede bust loose pub crawls. After 3 laps pinned around a round-about, we made it to the festival and b-lined it to check out some music. July Talk absolutely blew us away with the usual antics: biting each other, drinking whiskey and baring nipple tassels. We sang our heads off in to the biggest singalong with The Head and The Heart. We dance, dance, danced with Swedish miss Lykke Li. Then we got our illified gangster on with Nas playing the entire Illmatic record. Bruno Mars made boring songs look really challenging to play while entertaining moms and small children. We relaxed our legs and made for the dance arena to party the night away with Boys Noize. We found “the spot” under the sound room on the bleachers and hopped from bench to bench without breaking any legs. I didn’t learn my lesson on the first night and was hung over again. Waking up Saturday morning way earlier than necessary and waiting for bikes and people and helmets and whatever else to be organized isn’t ideal. But at the same point, when can you go mountain biking in the morning and then party your ass off all day with 30,000 homies to some of the best music going? The answer is only at Squamish. Fortunately, Paul is a real chill homie and he took it easy on us. He showed us Full Nelson as well as a bunch of other all mountain trails. The boys had a blast, despite getting a little banged up. Nothing a quick dip in the ocean and a few beers couldn’t fix. So we had a quick swim in Howe Sound, followed by a bite and brew at Howe Sound Brewpub and then off to check out the shows. Saturday, Brandon and Alex were stoked for Sam Roberts, Canadian (and Mountain Equipment Co-Op member apparently) rock legend. We also took advantage of backstage access during the Broken Bells performance on the main stage. Then it was The Roots getting funky under a full #supermoon. And Arcade Fire showing us what it takes to be a Grammy winning indie band. Gramatik wound down the night with a crazy dance party in the arena. Amid stupidly weak cell phone signals we hit the spot again and found all the lost homies. Sunday we went rock climbing with MEC envoy Sarah Hart up above the new Sea to Sky Gondola. Riding up that thing way above Howe Sound is pretty breathtaking. Luckily I wasn’t doing any climbing, I just had to take photos, so I took a couple and then napped in the bushes. We refuelled at Mags after testing our patience with a way-too-long wait for our food. Sunday was all about hip-hop. Shad kicked things off with his lyrical wisdom. Danny Brown played across the festival site at the other big stage. Then shutting down the night was Eminem with his first visit to BC in 10 years and perhaps his last ever. He kept thinking we were all in Vancouver though, so maybe he’ll get lost and end up here again, who knows. I partied way late into the morning in the VIP camping with some new friends, blowing every last penny we had loaded on our wristbands. See the rest of the photos on the Obeezy Photo Facebook page.