Summertime Madness


As summer creeps lazily towards us, so do the advertisements for all those super fun things that will happen in the city for the next few months. There’s a lot of events coming up that sound great, like the International Jazz Festival, but others fall short. This is just a short list of what to avoid this summer.

Playland @ the PNE

Let’s make one thing clear: I’m talking about the amusement park side of things, not the exhibition. The Pacific National Exhibition is worth checking out, and their summer lineup includes Vancouver Craft Beer Week and Logic’s Bobby Tarantino vs. Everybody Tour.
Playland is where the trouble’s at. Entry can be reasonable at $33 for a one-day adult pass, but once you’re in, you’re going to wish you spent that $33 on something else – a couple bottles of wine perhaps. The rides have seen little change over the past several years, and if you can believe it, the food is actually much worse now. Couple that with overpriced carnival games, huge lineups and screaming children and it sounds like the worst time ever.

FVDED In the Park

FVDED In the Park is an annual music festival that takes place in everyone’s favourite city – Surrey. If you love EDM and rap music this could be for you, that is, if you don’t mind that this event is all ages. Everyone at last year’s FVDED In the Park looked like the models on my Instagram feed – if they were 14-years-old and drinks Malibu and Stoli out of a backpack. Its like Coachella, but a dumpy Coachella.

Drinks inside are obviously expensive, and so too are the greasy food truck meals. Lines can get ridiculously long and if you need to go to the bathroom – good luck.

There are typically a handful of better-known headliners, the rest you’ve most likely never heard of. That’s not altogether a bad thing of course, but at over $200 for a two-day general admission pass, I’m not sold on the idea that it’s worth it.

Honda Celebration of Light

The annual fireworks festival hosted by Honda is something many Vancouverites look forward to each year, and I will never understand why. The event runs for three nights over the span of a week and features a lightshow competition between three countries, this year being South Africa, Sweden and South Korea.

Taking place at English Bay, the obvious vantage points are the nearby beaches – all of which, end up becoming human traps. Crowds form in the masses and getting around them is impossible because the police barricade common exit strategies and pack us together like sardines.

If you’re not claustrophobic and turned off by larger crowds, then enjoy the light show. Just don’t forget the screeching toddlers, hard to hear music, utter lack of parking and dogs that just want to go the fuck back home from this circus.

Evo Summer Cinema Series

Every Tuesday between July 4 and Aug. 22, the Summer Cinema Series presented by Evo hosts free movie nights at Second Beach in Stanley Park. This event is a great idea in theory, but really isn’t as fun as it sounds. What first promises to be a relaxing, sunset-adoring evening is actually a night spent with way too many strangers stepping on you, as they fumble their way back to their blankets.

As the sun sets that warm summer temperature will disappear, and the sleeping bags and thicker blankets will come out. Again, sounds nice until you realize that the couple next to you is sharing more than their sleeping bag. On top of that, getting to the bathroom is a journey in itself, there’s almost always a crying baby and because you’re not in a movie theatre people tend to forget that talking is frowned upon.

The movies in this year’s lineup include The Goonies, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Jaws. All terrific classics nonetheless, but all can be watched in the comfort of your own home. Also for free. My advice? Watch them at home.

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