They are two of the biggest names in music – one a globetrotting DJ, the other a meteorically rising R&B artist. But when deadmau5 and The Weeknd headline a buzz-heavy new Lower Mainland festival, it’s not happening in Vancouver; it’s at Holland Park in Surrey.
The first festival of its kind in the rapidly-evolving suburb, FVDED (pronounced “faded”) in the Park is offering top artists from the DJ, hip-hop and R&B worlds, among them veteran BBC broadcaster Pete Tong, famed young rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator, Dutch DJ Afrojack and long-running Chicago duo Flosstradamus.
Live Nation’s Erik Hoffman say the organizers chose Surrey because the city is welcoming larger events; the 14-acre park is a beautiful locale; it’s right on a Skytrain line; and, with sky-high housing costs in Vancouver, more and more of the young audience lives further afield.
“The community out there is very progressive – and when you go there, you realize how urban the suburbs can feel,” says Mr. Hoffman. “And a lot of fans of this particular genre of music are residing out there, so we’re bringing the music to where the people are.”
Unlike other festivals that are either more genre-specific, or all over the musical map, FVDED in the Park – which evolved out of smaller events in Stanley Park and at the PNE – is mixing the three urban genres and not relegating them to different stages. Rather, they will alternate musical styles across the two-day, three-stage event.
Between sets, the all-ages crowd can wander the grounds and check out a pop-up shop, tinker with new tech, relax in a chill-out area and even take a lesson in twerking. (“I won’t be anywhere near that area,” jokes Mr. Hoffman.)
But by far the biggest draws are deadmau5 – known for his trademark mouse head, and his YouTube coffee runs with major stars – and The Weeknd, whose single Earned It was featured in the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and who has collaborated with celebs from Drake to Ariana Grande.
“The timing couldn’t possibly be better for The Weeknd. He’s just on fire. And deadmau5, it’s interesting when you eventually turn the corner and you’re a legend – and you’re still in the middle of your career. Because in Canada, he is the guy,” says Mr. Hoffman, who hopes to make FVDED a yearly event. “And they both happen to be Canadian, which speaks volumes about what’s going on here.”
FVDED is at Holland Park in Surrey Friday and Saturday (fvdedinthepark.com).Report Typo/Error
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