Several blocks of Victoria’s downtown core was turned into a sprawling community market for the second annual Car Free YYJ. An excuse to ditch the car on Father’s Day and explore what the best local businesses, artisans, makers, musicians, and food vendors have to offer over several city blocks.
2015’s Car Free YYJ saw over 22,000 people hitting Douglas Street to check out all the cool things this city has to offer. Unfortunately, not many of them made it over to the final summer YYJ Rocktographers showcase only a block away. I was stuck there while all the other Rocktographers got to have fun drinking beers in the sunshine watching great bands play. This year I resolved that I would make it down and see as much as I absolutely could.
It certainly didn’t disappoint. Hordes of people moved down Douglas Street like a salmon run through Goldstream Park in the fall. Sometimes it felt like I was swimming upstream while trying to get from stage to stage, but that’s the fun part. It made me very excited for Rifflandia in September.
Three stages were set up throughout Car Free YYJ. Two earmarked the edges of the street market, and one was smack in the middle. Each were stacked to the brim with great local talent. It would have been impossible to see everything, but I tried. From San Felix to Lovecoast to Carmanah to Mike Edel to Acres of Lions, it was the who’s who of the local scene. The crowds filled with family, friends, other bands, and new fans cheering for every band that played.
Maybe next year, I’ll invent a teleporter so I can see every performer playing at Car Free YYJ and find where all the ice cream stands were hiding.