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DMNW Festival Season: Breaking Down Our FVDED in the Park Experience

The largest urban music festival in Western Canada, Blueprint Events’ FVDED in the Park returned to the grassy fields of Holland Park, Surrey, British Columbia, for its fourth anniversary. With a massive lineup featuring some of today’s best in Hip-Hop, R&B, and EDM, the hype for FVDED 2018 was tremendous. Did it live up to it?

Entry: Trouble from the Jump

After some travel hiccups, we got to Holland Park around 5:45pm. The time it took to receive our wristbands and step inside the festival gates?: A little after 7 pm. Long waits at music festivals are nothing new, but by the time we arrived, the line had to be at least half a mile long- and not moving. “Shame on us for arriving so late,” we said to ourselves. Apparently, there were people who had to wait much longer to get in. Much MUCH longer.

The FVDED Lab In Its Usual Spot (Photo: Stanley Sutton/ DMNW)

While in line, we’ve heard stories of how some people had to wait up to five hours to get inside. Unconfirmed reports on social media indicated rioting/trampling at the festival’s entry-point. While we couldn’t confirm these reports ourselves, they were troubling to hear all the same. Everything we’ve heard and read, however, was very troubling.

On day two, entry was smooth; we got in like a breeze. Hopefully day one’s troubles will be a one-time affair for future Blueprint festivals to come.

The Set-Up: Hello New Additions!

Our frustrations over the wait time quickly evaporated once we stepped inside. FVDED’s three familiar stages, the Lab, Northwest stage, and the Pacific stage returned this year. The Pacific Mainstage saw the introduction of a catwalk and pyro-technics. The catwalk was a nice touch; it allowed performers, mostly the rappers, and singers, to walk right into the heart of the crowd and get close to fans like never before.

The new-look, open-air tent, Northwest Stage (Photo: Stanley Sutton/ DMNW)

The Northwest stage received a huge makeover, transforming from an open-air stage to a tented one. The move aimed to add more production, among other reasons, according to Blueprint. The production in the new tent was brilliant, and the structure itself was massive enough to fit a large crowd.

The stages were also spaced out well enough that there wasn’t much of an issue with bleeding sound.

In addition to the stages were plenty of vendors throughout the park, with food, alcohol, and souvenirs all a short walk away.

The Music…and the Crowd

Day one seemed geared toward hip-hop, while the second day was all about R&B and EDM. We made it inside, and were able to catch Kaskade throw down a fun sunset set at the mainstage; A$AP Ferg followed, and that’s when the fun really began.

If you’ve never been to FVDED, heck, the Vancouver area, one thing you should know is these Canadians know their hip-hop. Come FVDED each year, they turn out and turn up! This year’s crowd knew nearly almost all of Ferg’s songs word-for-word. Ferg’s mic volume was rather low, so sometimes it was hard to hear his flow. The knowledgeable crowd made up for it by echoing his lyrics early, and often.

One of our favorite totems from FVDED 2018- a returning Patrick Star! (Photo: Stanley Sutton/DMNW)

After a frustrating 20-minute wait, Future took to the mainstage to close day one, turning that area of the Park into a war zone. We saw fists fly and continuous mosh pits; it was a pretty physical set to say the least! At one point, Ferg joined Future on-stage to perform Work. The crowd absolutely lost their shit! We had to laugh when Future dropped Masks Off, which had the crowd chanting along the whole time.

Day two saw less aggression from the crowd. We spent nearly that whole day underneath the re-imagined Northwest stage, catching Grandtheft, Slander, and a masterful live performance from Illenium. Kygo closed Day 2, performing all of his classics we know and love.

Surprise! Ekali and Slander crash Illenium’s afterparty for some b2b2b2b action! (Photo: Stanley Sutton / DMNW)

After day 2, we returned to downtown Vancouver with haste to go Illenium’s FVDED afterparty at Celebrities Nightclub. You never know who will show up at the official FVDED parties. This night, we were treated to the unexpected triple-combo of Ekali b2b Slander b2b Illenium, and, yes, it was as amazing as it sounds!

The Verdict

We knew what we were getting into when we decided to make the trip north for FVDED in the Park 2018. Energetic crowd, great music, awesome sunsets, cool merch, and top-notch production. This year’s FVDED didn’t disappoint, although it did many others because of the line fiasco on Day One. Some people said online that they would never do FVDED again. For us, we can’t wait to see what Blueprint has up its sleeve for its 2019 edition!

What did you think about FVDED in the Park 2018? Let us know in the comments below!