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Junos rock Vancouver

This weekend, music-loving Vancouverites spread across the city like guitar picks on Bryan Adams’ studio floor.

This weekend, music-loving Vancouverites spread across the city like guitar picks on Bryan Adams’ studio floor.

For the four-day Juno celebration — which culminated in last night’s awards show at GM Place — some 100 acts (half of whom were local) played 19 venues.

Thursday night, energy normally contained inside Granville Street’s bars flowed into the fresh air during free shows by Hey Rosetta, Said the Whale and headliners Hot Hot Heat.

“I liked the show and thought it was well put together,” said Colin Noseworthy. “It would be nice to see more events like that on Granville Street, and more festivals in Vancouver. Damages (by Hot Hot Heat) was a great song.”

Friday night’s highlights included the Juno Cup at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena. NHL alumni, including Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald, challenged musicians like local slide-guitar aficionado Steve Dawson and Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle. For the first time ever, the Rockers took the game, winning after Rob Higgins of Dearly Beloved scored in a shootout.

Mixing sets by groups like Winnipeg’s Quinzy with sumo-suit battles, raffle draws and the scent of roasting shawarma, Saturday’s WestJet Street Party was packed. At Juno Fan Fare, folks lined up for autographs from City and Colour, The Trews and award-winners The Stills, among others.

Later that night, block-long lineups of disgruntled fans stretched outside venues like the Railway Club and the Media Club to see Juno-nominees Plants and Animals and locals Hey Ocean! Despite good cheer, many expressed frustration at the lack of capacity.

“I didn’t get a wristband because I thought that would happen,” said Craig Smith, who plays in Vancouver’s Silent Authors. “People want to go and see live music (in Vancouver), but there’s a shortage of venues.”

 
 
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