Virgin Fest Wednesday October 17, 2007

update: The somewhat disappointing VFEST line-up has been announced.

By now you’ve been bombarded with images of Sir. Richard Branson stumbling out of a chuck wagon to announce that the Virgin Festival will drop at Fort Calgary this year.

Virgin Festival Calgary

Everyone knows that I’m a big fan of the Virgin Empire and Branson’s goofy eccentricity. I’m really excited for this event as it will be a top notch show; but still there are a few things that I find really interesting.

1. The obvious one is the location of Fort Calgary Historical Park. As one of the two untarnishd gem’s for venues in this city – Fort Calgary is absolutely perfect.

It’s not RaceCity speedway. It’s not the Stampede Grounds. It’s not COP and it is definitely not Prince Island. It’s Fort Calgary. That small tacky archaic tourist trap we all have grown to forget about. Perfectly situated right at the heart of the city between our city’s sketchiest district and one of the cities most beloved neighborhoods. Near mass transit and across the bow river. It’s a going to be a beautiful venue for a summer evening.

Is it as glamorous as the Gorge or Island Park? Not really, but it is oddly unique to Calgary and untapped for this sort of event. Plus it is a far more attractive venue than say MacHall or The Corral. The big wigs at Virgin know this. Hopefully one of the side effects will be that it’ll bring some attention and remove some of the stigma with the area.

... And hey at least it’ll have an awesome view of the Zoo and all the crack heads across the river.

2. The choice of Calgary as a location. Some people out east and along the coast will scoff at me for this, cough Rennie cough, but the choice of Calgary is an interesting one. Not Ottawa (the logical second Ontario Market choice) or Montreal. (although there would be hard competition with the other Montreal cultural events) But Calgary. Sure there is a little bit of hey T.o. look at us syndrome going down, but it’s still a interesting third choice.

The Virgin Fest is a spectacle event and is one that is done extremely fucking well, but it’s really nothing more than an elaborate marketing gimmick for the Virgin Global Brand. One that is trying to infiltrate a large portion of the country with a huge surplus of expendable income. At the center of this massive growth is Calgary, and it’s clearly the place you’d want to start to promote your brand. I wouldn’t be shocked if this was the first in a flurry of Virgin Brands to come rolling through our little section of the country over the next little while. Just keep your eye out for Virgin Galactic or even Virgin Brides.

There’s a reason Branson owns a private island – he’s a business genius and he usually never commits himself like this unless there are large dividends for his company. Thinking that it’s just another music festival is naive. Anyway, I’m stoked for this fest and you can bet your ass I’ll be first in line for passes.

Categories: The-Urban, The-Pop-Culture, The Calgary Vibe, The Music

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