Also available in Monday Magazine, originally posted on July 29th, 2021.
In the last two months, the speed at which events and concerts have been announced can only be described as breakneck, but the majority of the dates are far enough in the future that they still feel out of reach. The exception to that is the local festival of meat and refreshments that still has managed to sell out every year it’s been held.
“I felt that we wouldn’t be doing live events again until 2022.” That’s what Scott Gurney, Director at 17 Black Events said when asked if there was planning in place for the reopening before it ever happened. “Everything pointed to that, in my vision, that’s what I felt.” So when there was the announcement on the Brewery and the Beast social media pages on May 27th to save the date for both a Victoria and Vancouver event, that was the result of the quick action and work of a small group of dedicated people in a very short amount of time.
The organizer of some of the region’s most in-demand events was forced to make the move to Langford but explained that the change to Starlight Stadium in the Westshore just made sense. “In Victoria proper, there are so few venues specifically built for large-scale live events, and we had the opportunity to move to a state-of-the-art, completely brand new venue, and were welcomed with open arms.”
For those unsure of what to expect in the new normal, Gurney said except for a few small changes, the event should seem familiar to anyone who has been in the past. “We’ve purposely made the event a bit smaller this year, for health and safety, and to address staffing shortages affecting all sides of the hospitality industry right now, so it will be more intimate, but the food should be amazing, with restaurants really stepping up.” There is also the addition of more beverage variety, including Island Life Hard Sparkling water to the always tasty selection of Phillips Beer, Left Field Cider, a selection of Okanagan wines, and more.
While it has sold out, the event has become far more open and accommodating with the ability to transfer tickets in the event of people being unable or choosing not to attend, so if the event still interests you, keep an eye out for tickets being resold, especially on their social media pages.
All in all, after 16 months of this pandemic, it’s refreshing to see one of the best, most desired events in Victoria back to lead the charge right out of the gates come September 12th, and hopefully, it’s an indication that large-scale events are back for good.