With another Fusion Festival upon us here in Surrey, it’s time to have a look at the annual event in “by the numbers” style.
The two-day gathering goes Saturday and Sunday (July 20-21) with a multicultural mix of music, food and more at Holland Park (King George Boulevard at Old Yale Road), with musical headliners 2Baba, Sharry Mann, K’NAAN, Busty & The Bass and Alex Cuba, among others.
And so, the numbers – from both today and years gone by.
55: This year, more than 55 pavilions will feature art and cuisine from around the world. New pavilions for 2019 include Venezuela, Uganda, Uruguay, Haiti, Paraguay and Belgium. Additional attractions include an Indigenous village, artisan market, a kids zone, inflatables, sports zone and cooking stage.
7: The number of stages at this year’s event.
200: Number of performers booked to play the festival, give or take a few.
2008: The very first Fusion Festival in Surrey was a three-day event back in 2008, the year Surrey earned “Cultural Capital of Canada” status and federal funding to the tune of $2 million to host such events.
60,000: The estimated number of people who showed up for the inaugural Fusion, which featured performances by Jazzy B, The Chieftains and Jully Black. Of note, Surrey’s Jazzy B played to 15,000 ticketholders on opening night (admission was free at the Friday-evening show, but tickets were required in a practice since ceased).
12: Do the math and this is the 12th annual Fusion Festival in Surrey.
386 million: The staggering number of times Sharry Mann’s “3 Peg” video has been viewed on Youtube since it was posted less than three years ago. It’s actually 386,387,156 views, as of Monday morning, but who’s counting at this point? Well, I am.
100,000-plus: The number of attendees anticipated this year, according to event organizers with the City of Surrey.
2011: The year the festival’s cooking stage was introduced. For 2019, the Dished Cooking Stage will feature such sessions as “How to Make Churros and Chai Tea Ice Cream with Kayla Dhaliwall,” “How to Make Gluten-Free Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Trevor Randle,” and “All About Turkey and Oatmeal & Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Super Chefs.” Also on the topic of food, desserts from around the world will be served at pavilions that participate in this year’s theme of “Something Sweet.”
2: The number of vocalists featured in the Montreal-based band Busty and the Bass, which will make the Concord Pacific Main Stage groove with electro-soul, hip-hop sounds to close the festival, Sunday (July 21) starting at 9 p.m.
10: The number of times talented ventriloquist Norma McKnight is booked to perform on the festival’s kids stage, known as Storyville. Every half hour, the stage will also feature multiple performances by Silly Suzie, Rockin’ Robin, Jeff Christensen’s Storytime and Chris Hamilton.
4: The time of day Saturday afternoon when the colourful Parade of Culture takes place, along with a welcome ceremony.
5: The gate number where The Bicycle Valet will be on site monitoring and parking bikes in bike racks, at the festival-entry point closest to King George Skytrain Station.
2: The number of alcoholic beverages that can be served per person, at one time, at the festival’s Global Beer and Wine Tasting area, located at the north end of the park, near the Main Stage, between 12:30 and 9 p.m. daily. To enter, first obtain a DAV (Drinking Age Verified) wristband from security guards located at the two entrances there.
6: The number of booths where tickets for on-site food, drink, ride and alcoholic beverages can be purchased, via cash, credit or debit. Yes, ATMs will be operational. One ticket sells for $1, and food items usually range from two to 10 tickets.
20: Saturday’s projected temperature, in Celsius, on the first day of Fusion, with a 20 per cent chance of rain. Sunday looks even better, with a daytime high of 22C and 10 per cent chance of precipitation.
0: The number of dollars required to attend the free-admission fest.
1: The number of clicks required to follow me on Twitter.com/TomZillich, for the latest on Fusion Festival and more on Surrey’s entertainment scene.