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Vancouver on the Cheap: Free Music & Theatre

If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap".
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If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap". In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

A short anecdote to get us started here today: a few years back I went to Montreal for 5 weeks in the summer. While there, I was amazed at the number for free concerts and festivals overrunning that incredibly cool city. At the time, I remember thinking "man, why doesn't Vancouver do stuff like this???"

Turns out, it does! This summer there have already been loads of free entertainment events and now here's another one: SHOREfest at the Honda Celebration of Lights. We've got two beaches, loads of bands, and even more people watching.

Spirit of the West performing in last year's SHOREfest. Photo by Shayna Kerrie Photography.

The schedule:

The Rogue Stage (on Sunset Beach)

Saturday July 28

Rogue Stage Sunset Beach

2:00 - 2:45 Oliver Swain

3:00 - 3:45 Headwater

4:00 - 4:45 Harry Manx

5:00 - 6:00 Barney Bentall

6:00 - 6:30 V3

6:45 - 7:15 SEACHS

7:30 - 8:15 Jim Byrnes and Steve Dawson

10:00 Vietnam Fireworks Show

Wednesday August 1

Rogue Stage Sunset Beach

4:00 - 4:45 The Breakmen

5:00 - 6:00 Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson

6:00 - 6:30 Ache Brasil

6:45 - 7:15 Grupo America

7:30 - 8:15 The Be Good Tanyas

10:00 Brazil Fireworks Show

Saturday August 4

Rogue Stage Sunset Beach

2:00 - 2:45 Bocephus King

3:00 - 3:45 Partick Brealey

4:00 - 4:45 Viper Central

5:00 - 5:45 Cousin Harley

6:00 - 6:30 Famee Furlane Balletto

6:45 - 7:15 Joel Plaskett

7:30 - 8:15 Great Lake Swimmers

8:30 - 9:30 Patrizia Colletta

10:00 Italy Fireworks Competion

The Shore 104 Stage (at English Bay)

Saturday July 28

Shore 104 Stage English Bay

7:30 - 8:15 Zaac Pick

8:30 - 9:30 Bahamas

10:00 Vietnam Fireworks Show

Wednesday August 1

Shore 104 Stage English Bay

7:30 - 8:15 Jets Overhead

8:30 - 9:30 Trews

10:00 Brasil Fireworks Show

Saturday August 4

Shore 104 Stage English Bay

7:30 - 8:15 Hannah Georgas

8:30 - 9:30 Said The Whale

10:00 Italy Fireworks Show

Dan Mangan in last year's SHOREfest. Photo by Shayna Kerrie Photography.

I caught up with Ronnie Stanton, Operations Manager at Shore 104FM to get more info on the concerts.

Whose idea was SHOREfest in the first place?

This is our 4th SHOREfest. When the station was originally built, the desire was to create a radio station truly created for music lovers - accordingly the promotions we do are always music focussed. A free music festival is right up our alley!

How do you choose the bands who will play?

Firstly we look for fit. We want the artists to be eclectic yet have some familiarity - they need to be relevant, cool and interesting. Plus, we want diversity in sound. We also aim to showcase seasoned performers and up and coming Canadian acts.

Why make it free? Why not charge cover for these awesome bands?

SHOREfest is attached to the biggest free nights of the year in Vancouver with the Honda Celebration of Light. It had to be free!

Are you anticipating the huge crowds the fireworks are known for? Will people need to arrive early to stake out a spot?

Yes - we imagine there will be a lot of people there. Our acts start on stage mid afternoon so come early and enjoy the free music. Then when the fireworks are on make sure you listen to Shore 104 for the musical soundtrack for the visual spectacular!

Anything else you want people to know about SHOREfest?

We recommend using public transport as parking might be a challenge later in the day. Come and enjoy.

Yep, a pretty big crowd, alright. Photo by Shayna Kerrie Photography.

This post is doing double duty, because I also have to tell you about Carousel Theatre's summer Shakespeare show The Tempest that you can also see for FREE! Yes, this is teen performers, but Carousel is known for putting together some rocking productions with its teen performance troupe.

The show runs Monday to Saturday from July 27th to August 11th at 7:30pm, with 2:00pm matinees on Saturdays (Jul 28, Aug 4 + 11) and Monday, August 6th (BC Day). Advance reservations can be made for $5/seat.

For more information please call (604) 685-6217 or visit our website at www.carouseltheatre.ca