Atomique Productions presented Jesse Roper with Yukone Blonde, Daniel Wesley and Lo Waight and The Rattlesnakes live for ‘One Night Only’ at the Phillips Brewery Backyard Saturday July 6, 2019.
This was a incredible night of music, but ran into some uncharacteristic logistics issues. Around 3000 people packed the Phillips Backyard for Jesse Roper’s nearly two-hour set. A show that Jesse himself said on facebook was “a dream gig experience.” The stage featured bails of hay, crates of flowers (we assume were from Roper’s garden) and smoke cannons.
It was clear the crowds were there for him. From singing along to his songs to crowdsurfing fans to bras being thrown towards the stage, the sold out crowd loved every minute Roper was on stage.
A couple mainland bands in Yukon Blonde and Daniel Wesley were up before Roper. Neither are strangers to the local festival scene having both performed at Rifflandia, Rock the Shores and various other shows in Victoria over the years.
Opening the day was Victoria’s Lo Waight and The Rattlesnakes. The band had a slightly different lineup with Daniel Favell on guitar and Alex Campbell on drums. Lo Waight and The Rattlesnakes got a boost in exposure last July as a Zone Band of The Month. As the very first act of an outdoor concert, there’s always that concern there will be no one in the audience, but thankfully that was not the case this time. A sizeable crowd had gathered by the time the band took the stage at 5pm and Waight did not disappoint performing a toe tapping set.
Now, while all of the music at the ‘One Night Only’ concert was fantastic, the event unfortunately was marred by long lines to get drinks and to use the bathrooms. The lines got so long at one point, it was difficult to tell which line you were standing in.
As someone who has attended a fair share of events at the Phillips Backyard, it was unusual to see lines like that. The drink line is normally a well oiled machine of people snaking through the barricades grabbing their already poured drink from a volunteer and moving along. Thousands have attended Backyard Weekenders and Electric Avenue at Rifflandia there without major issues.
The cause of the backups is up for debate. Twenty porta-potties with no urinal-only style versions was probably too little for 3000 people. A slightly older demographic attending the show that hasn’t been to an outdoor show in years may have been a factor. Prior to the event happening, there were multiple social media posts asking why they couldn’t bring blankets or food or chairs into a concrete loading bay of a brewery. Another possible issue was that most attendees arrived at around the same time as opposed to a typical festival day where entry gets spread out through the afternoon.
Coincidentally, once Jesse Roper went on stage, the lines shrank significantly.
With a few logistics tweaks, here’s hoping this isn’t just a “One Night Only” event. Victoria could use a large capacity venue that isn’t Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre or Royal Theatre to attract some of the larger acts that typically play Vancouver, but skip the island.