Staycation 2013: The Link’s summer arts guide

Last year’s Bard on the Beach was a hit with MacBeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor. — Darlene Foster

Last year’s Bard on the Beach was a hit with MacBeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor. — Darlene Foster

Keep cool this summer with these hip happenings around the Lower Mainland

 

So. School is wrapping up and it’s almost time for summer break. Too bad BCIT’s tuition and rigid payment structures mean you’ll be working all summer instead of flying off to beaches, festivals, and European backpacking odysseys.

Fear not! The Link has you covered for everything you need to spend a summer stuck in the lower mainland.

Let’s be honest. It could be a lot worse. You could be in Edmonton.

 

Local Music

You’ve missed Coachella and even a trip down to Sasquatch is going to cost you a month’s rent — tough to justify when you’re already eating ramen three meals a week and asking your relatives for their old pennies.

Why not save yourself the time and money? Check out some of the fantastic festivals and outdoor concerts lined up right here in the Lower Mainland instead!

Folk-rockers Mumford and Sons are headlining festivals across the continent this summer, but you can catch them outside in Surrey’s Holland Park on May 24 before they head down to the Gorge for Sasquatch.

Trying to capture some of the flair and theatricality that comes with out of town festivals? Rogers Arena will be jam-packed this summer with concerts from Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, One Direction, New Kids on the Block, Fleetwood Mac, and many more.

If you go to a festival for the vibes instead of the music, The Vancouver Folk Music Festival or the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival might be more up your alley. Both offer a great opportunity to pack a blanket and picnic lunch, set up on a prime piece if grass and let the festivities unfold around you. Don’t forget your hula-hoop!

And if, like me, you scour [pullquote]”You can impress friends and acquaintances alike with your encyclopedic knowledge of the music scene.”[/pullquote]festival line-ups to find the most obscure bands so you can impress friends and acquaintances alike with your encyclopedic knowledge of the music scene, you’re probably best off checking out Music Waste from June 6 to 9 or the Khatsalano Music and Arts Festival on July 13.

The Khatsalano fest is a day-long block party on West 4th Avenue featuring some of the region’s better-known and more commercially successful local talent — and it’s free. Spend a day popping into stores along the boutique-heavy street and taking breaks to watch a couple great bands.

If you really want to dig deep though, Music Waste is the place for you. The four-day festival features some of the city’s best emerging talent, experimental artists, and DIY punk rockers. With shows taking place in venues across Vancouver, $5 will get you into any show, or you can snap up an advance pass for the same low price.

 

Film

The great thing about summer movies is that you don’t have to go any further than your local movie house to be a part of a cultural phenomenon that often eclipses the mere tens of thousands who crowd into any particular music festival.

Summer in Hollywood always heralds the arrival of the biggest-budget, most-anticipated films of the year, and 2013’s season is no exception.

It wouldn’t be summer at the cineplex without superhero movies or sequels, and this year’s flock includes both in droves. We’ll see a reboot in Man of Steel, a sequel to Kick-Ass, the third installments of the Iron Man and The Hangover franchises, and a spinoff in The Wolverine, which is also a sequel of sorts to X-Men III: The Last Stand.

The end of the world and its many permutations will continue to fascinate movie-goers with apocalyptic flicks — whether it’s an end-of-the-world pub crawl in The World’s End, a bunch of celebrities locked in an apartment as society crumbles in This is the End, or Brad Pitt leading the battle against zombies in late-to-the-table genre flick World War Z.

Nerds can get their sci-fi fix with CGI-heavy blockbusters [pullquote]”It wouldn’t be summer at the cineplex without superhero movies or sequels.”[/pullquote]After Earth, Elysium, and of course Star Trek Into Darkness, and fill the giant-fighting-robot-shaped void left in the absence of a new Transformers or even Voltron movie with Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.

 

The Rest

The return of summer also means the return of glorious, glorious food trucks. These mobile sustenance providers range from fresh takes on old favourites like Mom’s Grilled Cheese to extensions of sit-down restaurants like Tacofino and La Brasserie, and are scattered across Downtown and East Vancouver. No word yet on plans to resuscitate the weekly food cart festival held at the now-defunct Waldorf.

One of Vancouver’s great summer traditions is Bard on the Beach, a Shakespeare festival held every year at Vanier Park in Kitsilano. This year’s lineup is highlighted by a 21st-century take on Hamlet, so if you haven’t thought about old Bill since high school, now is the perfect chance to catch his signature work, and maybe grab a tan while you’re at it.

The glut of superhero and comic book movies this summer will be nicely complemented by a rash of comic, anime and videogame conventions in our fair city.

Two conventions with confusingly similar names, Anime Evolution and Anime Revolution are apparently bitter rivals and will be striving to outdo each other at every turn — good news for fans. If you’re up for a drive to Seattle, Sakuracon is one of North America’s premier nerd culture conventions, featuring industry panels, social events and of course, sexy nerds in revealing costumes.

 

Fans dress as video game characters at Anime Evolution. — David K

Fans dress as video game characters at Anime Evolution. — David K

It’s a tough fate, being stuck in our beautiful city all summer, but with The Link’s help, you’ll have a season worth bragging about to the friends who spent their student loans gallivanting abroad. Catch a movie, hit up a couple local shows, and maybe even take in a play – you’ll feel more cultured than if you had spent four months on the beaches of Europe.

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