The evolution of Vancouver’s music scene is being dictated by the lack of live music venues, said Pardon My Striptease drummer, Dylan Weightman.
According to Weightman, there are not enough venue choices in Vancouver for the amount of local bands.
“There is too much supply and not enough demand for live, independent music,” said Weightman.
“Most of the time you’ll find yourselves cramming two to four bands onstage between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., because after 11 there has to be a DJ,” he said.
Some of the problems with Vancouver venues
According to Discorder Magazine editor Laurel Borrowman, venues are limited to either clubs that seat several hundred people, or underground places that most have never heard of. This makes it harder for independent bands to reach a large audience.
Many of these small places aren’t licensed and end up getting shut down, Borrowman said. As a result, more bands end up playing free house shows where people aren’t necessarily “doing keg stands,” but are not attending specifically for the music.
Five Alarm Funk guitarist, Gabe Boothroyd, believes that certain regulations in Vancouver have a negative impact on the local music scene. “The liquor laws are pretty repressive for live music,” he said, and explained that the liquor board can even put restrictions on how loud a show can be.”
More established bands have an easier time in Vancouver.
“Definitely the music scene has been good to us,” said Boothroyd. He added that Vancouver has been a great supporter of their band, which is fairly well-known.
Borrowman believes that, because of the vast talent pool, the Vancouver music scene will continue to be strong. “I could go out every single night of the week,” she said.
“There’s always something going on,” said Borrowman.
Reported by Gillian Hames