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FVDED brings the noise (as Public Enemy would say) to Surrey park this weekend

Two-days fest brings The Chainsmokers and others to Holland Park, but not everyone is happy about it
A scene from the inaugural FVDED in the Park musical festival in 2015. (file photo: Jacob Zinn)

SURREY — The event billed as Metro Vancouver’s largest outdoor music event returns to Holland Park this week.

The two-day FVDED in the Park festival brings hip-hop, electronic and pop sounds here on Friday and Saturday (July 7-8), featuring the likes of The Chainsmokers, Wiz Khalifa, PartyNextDoor, Dillon Francis, Ty Dolla $ign, Yellow Claw and other artists. The lineup was announced in March.

Some people love the event for its party vibe, while others hate it for the non-stop booming music and noise that comes with having 20,000 festival-goers revel daily on a site not far from condo towers and houses, at Old Yale Road and King George Boulevard.

Blueprint Events boss Alvaro Prol, chief architect of FVDED in the Park, acknowledged noise complaints in an interview with the Now-Leader.

“Is it loud to have a music festival in a city? Yeah, but for some people who live in the area, having The Chainsmokers perform in a park outside their patio is the most incredible thing in the world,” Prol said.

“We do our best to stay within the limits given,” he added. “Most big parks in cities all over the world host music festivals, and we as concert promoters work within the rules, that’s one thing. Ultimately, we live in an exciting, very beautiful city, and Vancouver has been known as a no-fun city for way, way too long. I feel like since the Olympics, even before that, we’re turning that page, and events like this are part of that, trying to turn the page.”

The third annual edition of the festival will again bring thousands of out-of-towners to Surrey, but most ticketholders are Surrey residents, according to numbers from an economic impact report.

FVDED operators released details of the report in a news release dated May 31. The Now-Leader requested a copy of the report, but it was not made available.

“Of the $5 million injection into Surrey’s local economy, $3.9 million, or 78 per cent, came from visitors from outside the city,” the news release says. “Of the 22,415 attendees, 14,339 were Surrey residents and 8,076 were from other areas of the region.

“Of the visitors that came from out of town, 53 per cent of them stayed in hotels, motels or bed-and-breakfasts, spending over $700,000 on Surrey’s local accommodations.”

FVDED was launched in 2015 with a goal of attracting music lovers from across Greater Vancouver and British Columbia, Prol stated. “The central location of the festival, Holland Park, its urban locations and its proximity to transit, is a huge draw for festival-goers.”

This year, general-admission tickets for Saturday (“Day 2”) are sold out, thanks mostly to the popularity of The Chainsmokers, an American DJ/production duo with several hit songs, including “Closer,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and, more recently, “Something Just Like This,” a collaboration with the band Coldplay.

“We’re lucky to get those guys,” Prol said. “The Chainsmokers have had a fantastic two or three years, to say the least, and we’re very grateful they’re here, because it was a hard one to land, we really needed it and the timing worked out well. We go way back with those guys, which is great.

“But it’s not just for them, I think, because people are also buying tickets for the (festival) concept, as we’d hoped,” Prol added. “The Saturday GA (general admission) is sold out, but there are still two-day tickets to get you in there that day. Most of the festival-goers are two-day festival ticketholders, so they come on both days, which is exactly what we want people to experience, of course.”

Prol said FVDED-goers may notice some changes this time around.

“The longer you’re on a site, the more you can tweak and make adjustments and make the festival better and better,” he said. “This year, we’re probably in the best place we’ve been – operationally, design, sightlines, all the things that make for a better FVDED in the Park experience.

“We changed the way some of the fencing was, and the flow around the venue, the way the food is distributed, to make a more conducive corridor around the back that we didn’t have last year, with a bunch of the different merch stuff and people doing different things there, and we’ve made the FVDED Lab bigger, so we’ve done quite a few things that will be noticed by people who’ve been there a lot.”

For event information, including tickets and festival schedule, visit

The Chainsmokers headline the 2017 edition of FVDED in the Park, a musical festival at Surrey’s Holland Park on the weekend of July 7-8.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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