by Meghan Roberts
Olio hit Vancouver for its second year with wider recognition, international acts, and big name sponsors. Vancouver’s newest and fastest growing indie festival, Olio showcases bands, artists, films, and art during a four day whirlwind each fall. While maintaining its original local focus, Olio organizers brought in a number of bigger shows this year ranging from The Very Best to Chad VanGaalen. The result was a much farther reaching product that became the talk of the town. I had a blast this year, and learned a few things I’m only too happy to share.

Top Ten Olio Tidbits

1. Don’t be afraid to go to the smaller and sometimes sketchier venues like China Cloud. They’re often more intimate and have cheaper drinks.
2. Plan your schedule strategically by neighbourhood. If you want to venue hop you need to make sure there’s another venue near you. Don’t get stuck at the Biltmore when you’re planning on hitting up the Media Club later that night. Also, investigate after parties. There should be one near you final destination.
3. In Vancouver, bars need an audience participation permit to allow patrons to dance. For real. Apparently dancing = raves. Also, there’s currently a ban on issuing liquor permits in the downtown eastside. Newer venues like the Rickshaw have to apply for a temporary permit each night they host an event.
4. Best description of the Granville strip, courtesy of No Fun City: It’s like drinking in a mall. But drinking in a mall can be fun. It takes all the fun out of drinking in a mall.
5. Check out the art shows. This year Olio pulled in Vancouver’s legendary psychedelic artist, Bob Masse. He stayed long after his presentation to chat with the audience, and sold prints for a measly $25.
6. Don’t skip weekdays. Some of the best events this year were on the Thursday. Besides, who doesn’t love a good mid-week romp?
7. Find your concert stance. Avoid couples and tall people at all costs. Don’t feel pressured to get near the front if that’s not your preference.
8. Dress comfortably chic and skip the heels. You’ll be in pain from stomping around in them all night, and the person next to you will be cursing every time you dance on their toes. Skinny jeans, flats, and a leather jacket is all you really need.
9. You don’t need to be drunk the whole weekend. Shocking, but true. Take a breather at a film or chill show so you can gear up for the big ones the next day.
10. Try something new. This should be self explanatory in a festival setting, but it’s really easy to fall into habits. Pick out at least two events ahead of time that you think you’ll like and make yourself go to them.