Canada venue throb with rooftop music



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Canada BC place new fan experiences Image: BC Place

BC Place in Canada has been wearing a desolate look as it has seen no large gathering since COVID-19 brought doom on the world. However, recently the stadium came alive with its rooftop acting as a stage for music festival, with drones beaming production to at-home fans.

The 54,500-capacity BC Place is a multipurpose stadium located at the North side of False Creek, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is owned and operated by the BC Pavilion Corporation, a crown corporation of the province.

An annual electronic music festival was held online this year, and some of the performers used the roof of BC Place for their stage. A crew of camera and drone operators pulled together to make it happen.

Known as the Contact Winter Music Festival, it was held on February 6th, 2021, in a free-to-stream event. The Contact Winter Music Festival has been held at BC Place since 2013, usually in the final week of December.

The whole two-hour DJ show was streamed on February 6th. There were 285,000 unique viewers for the event.

A press release sent out in this regard stated, “Fans of Canada’s largest indoor music festival experienced the event from a whole new level. Local artistes Vanic, Tails B2B Juelz, Nostalgix, and Poni performed for fans via Twitch from the roof of BC Place.”

The electronic-music event was produced by Blueprint, Live Nation Canada, Monstercat and BC Place.

“This was the first time any artistes have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop,” according to the event advisory.

globalnews.ca sources stated that it is certainly not the first time that music has been played on top of the roof. But, it certainly is the first time when so much technology has been employed. In a contactless COVID world, organizers of Vancouver’s annual Contact Music Festival had a problem – where to put 20,000-plus fans and bring the concert to them. And, then the rooftop idea was conceived.

Alvaro Prol of BluePrint Entertainment stated, “This year we spoke to BC Place and they have this fine location on top and from there we put all the pieces together.”

globalnews.ca sources further stated that two drone companies captured the whole thing from the area using three aircraft. It took weeks to coordinate with efforts put in by Transport Canada and event organizers and one day in early January the weather was perfect and the drones and the BC Place leading staff started the show.

Stated Jacob Crawford, Crowford Film Works, “They were able to control all the lights that we see every evening on BC Place. We actually had radio control and so we were able to radio to them that – ‘Go back orange or go to purple or things like that’ which we felt would automatically make the shot. With very small drones, they have really made very dynamic moves.” So, this year’s event brought BC talent to the fore.

Jon Ross of Jon Ross Films stated, “Honestly, without COVID this would not have happened. It would have been another indoor event. So, COVID kind of allowed this event to be a possibility.”

It has been very quiet around BC Place. Nevertheless, things are happening here.

CTV News Vancouver sources quoted Melissa Taylor, Vancouver’s ‘Queen of the Lights’ as stating, “The stadium lights may have diminished here. We have never gone dark.”

Taylor is the one that transforms 1700 panels that ring around the stadium into a nearly dazzling light display that has dominated Vancouver’s iconic skyline during the pandemic.

Adds Taylor, “Basically, we illuminate the facade along the rooftop for different causes, organizations – just causes that are important.”

CTV News Vancouver sources added that BC Place is approaching the 10th anniversary of its retractable roof. Walking on the retractable roof is like being on a giant trampoline. The first ever broadcast on the roof of BC Place was the Contact Winter Music Festival virtual activation.

Stated Duncan Blomfield, BC Place Marketing and Communications Manager, “We can’t bring people together. But we broadcasted from the roof of BC Place.”

The last event here before COVID hit was the massively popular Rugby Sevens. The annual tournament may return as soon as next Fall. Whenever the games or shows do come back, BC Place officials are sure it will be a safer fan experience. With mobile ticketing only, and no more cash transactions, the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Lions is taking the lead role in expanding cleaning protocols.

Stated Jenna Visram, BC Place Director of Events and Guest Experience, “It’s a sanitation and housekeeping accreditation and we are really making sure that we are meeting the global standards for housekeeping and cleaning in this venue. We are the first Canadian stadium to receive that designation.”

BC Place is also ready to host mass vaccination and testing. For now, it is being used as a massive movie set.

Added Visram, “It has had a significant amount of movie shoots in the last 10 months.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is a Canadian professional football team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Whitecaps FC compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference.

The BC Lions are a professional Canadian football team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Lions compete in the West Division of the Canadian Football League, and play their home games at BC Place. The Lions played their first season in 1954, and have played every season since.

There is light at the end of the tunnel as a reimagined BC Place has all the aspirations to be the standard for world-class venues in a post-COVID world.

As far as the music festival is concerned, it is all about ‘Give Back’ because everybody involved in making it a success was not doing it for money.

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