In the beginning, Rock the Shores was a one-day festival. The inaugural RTS fell on a Friday the 13th (of July, 2012) and, from the Helijet pad where certain lucky people were flown directly into the festival grounds, perhaps the odd steam cloud which rolled through should’ve been taken as a sign of the weirdness to come.

The event which would put Juan de Fuca’s lower fields on the map debuted with a humble lineup of four bands: Jets Overhead, Current Swell, Sam Roberts, and The Tragically Hip.

All was going fine and dandy until Sam Roberts’ fourth song. The wind which had been picking up through the evening finally hit danger levels, and the performance was suspended while screens were lowered, stage walls were raised to allow the wind to pass through, and all nonessential systems were shut down lest they get struck by lightning.

Wait, lightning?

Yes, lightning.

In a strange and amazing display, a rare meteorological occurrence in Victoria decided to take centre stage (literally) during Rock the Shores.

The system passed visibly overhead, watched closely by the entire crowd (it’s not like there was anything else to do) until, 45 minutes later, it looked like the worst was over.

The stormclouds moved on, the sun broke through and, despite the now completely mucked schedule (Sam Roberts would have to wait a year to finish his set), preparations were made to bring on the headliner: The Tragically Hip.

If nothing else, RTS 2012 was a memorable festival, and it set the stage for doubling, then tripling, its duration in years to come.