Hey Ocean!’s Friday did not start off well, with the realization that the Vancouver band was without certain instruments it needed for its evening show.
But after securing a replacement flute and a brand new tambourine, the band was in good spirits and soon after had their Sylvan Lake audience in great spirits, providing an energetic kick off to the sixth iteration of the Shake the Lake festival.
The pop-rock band delighted about 200 audience members with their own hits, covers, and instrumental bits such as the instance where all band members grabbed drumsticks and tapped away on the set’s skins, rims, or even an amp. And where for earlier acts spectators sat, the band had people up and dancing, with the most energetic expressions coming when the band played its hit ‘Make a New Dance Up’ and continued on to sample Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and 90s hit ‘Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)’ by the C+C Music Factory.
The band was the headliner for the annual Sylvan Lake festival, which ran until Sunday. Over 6,000 people turned out over the three days — and anyone enjoying the nearby beach area on Friday and Saturday could certainly hear loud and clear the musical acts and goings on of the festival as well — with admission completely free all the way through.
Hey Ocean! was one of 11 acts to take to the Shake the Lake stage over the first two days before the festival moved indoors for its BMX competition on Sunday.
“Typically we have 30 bands in a weekend, it’s just go-go-go,” said festival co-ordinator Sean McIntyre, “We thought we’d change it up a little bit, to give a little more room for the action sports to jump in. Before we had bands and action sports competing for the crowds. Now, hopefully, it’s a good mix.”
“I think we’re now able to really put together a quality event that people can enjoy. We’re definitely seeing people that we’ve never seen before, and we see more families, more of everything that we’re looking for,” McIntyre continued.
While the musical acts and skateboard and BMX competitions were prime attractions at the event, there was also face painting, a trampoline, and games for kids at the event. And this year, the festival was held at the corner of 50th Street and Lakeshore Drive whereas in previous years it had been on 48th Street.
Though building projects are slated for this year’s festival spot, McIntyre said he hopes next year to be back on the same grounds.
“We used to compete with the beach, trying to draw the people up to our location. Now we’re combining the attraction of the beach and Shake the Lake and I think it’s where we belong,” he said.
About 100 volunteers made the event possible, according to McIntyre. The BMX competition, which he said is the largest freestyle competition of its kind in Western Canada, drew entrants from as far away as New Brunswick and the Yukon.