Alvaro Prol, is the co-founder & co-owner of Blueprint Events and curator for the FVDED Festival Series. We quickly chatted to him last night, on the eve of this years festival kick off.
HHV: Before we jump into talking about FVDED, can you give our readers a quick background check, on your beginnings with Blueprint and how it’s transformed?
AP: Ok, it’s a long story, here are the quick highlights. Our 20th anniversary is this October, ..it’s a lot to cover.
I started promoting underground House events in the late 90’s and from that started to do more & more. We grew from club nights to the Commodore to bigger & bigger venues. Arenas.
From there we teamed up with friends we had been strategically partnered with for a long time that owned a bunch of nightclubs. We started buying other clubs and became one group that managed, operated and owned businesses all at the same time. Now we produce events all over 600 events a year in Western Canada and employ 400+ people. About 7 years ago we got into Hip-Hop.. I grew up on hip-hop, that is my fabric, but early on house music was happening for me so I grew with it. Now we have branched out into Metal and many more genres. It’s a lot of fun.
HHV: With Blueprint owning several of Vancouver’s top clubs such as Celebrities, Venue and Fortune Sound just to name a few, how much responsibility is on yourself and Blueprint to shape the musical vibes and trends that come into our city.. ?
AP: I think it’s the promoters responsibility to balance booking acts that they love but also what others may like more than you. It’s a mixture of being cutting edge but going back to staple artists. You have to curate a vibe.
Curating a Festival with three stages is totally different than a venue like Celebrities. They are both as cool in what they are doing, they are just living in different musical vibes. I think curating a Festival is every promoters dream.
HHV: With such festivals as Squamish and Pemberton cancelling their events this year and citing the increasing American dollar as a big factor in not being able to properly pull off their festivals, what effect does this also have on Blueprint Events as a whole and how does it affect the type of artists we get to see here in Vancouver..?
AP: I think that the USD has always been a issue here in CAD. I think the Pemberton and Squamish issues may not be isolated to that, I think there were other issues as well. The USD is a big part but there are other reasons. You still have to pay as much as the guy next door in the States but artist enjoy coming here and we have to keep creating cool events that people want to support. We have been lucky with FVDED, we’re sitting here looking like Saturday is pretty much sold out.
HHV: Can you tell us about the FVDED brand and how this festival series got its start?
AP: It goes back many many years to a lifestyle thing we were doing back in the day at Blueprint. We started with a club night doing a certain type of show with a vibe that we felt was emerging. Trap shows…later rap shows…the FVEDED brand started 5 years ago and has morphed from throwing a party at Stanley Park on Canada Day, to the Amphitheatre and now to the Festival we have today. I was never able to find the right venue, until we saw the potential of this site. It has allowed us to throw an actual huge party in the city.
HHV: If I’m going to FVDED In The Park for the first time ever, what’s 3 key tips that are going to help me survive this festival?
AP: It’s gonna be hot. Bring a hat, tank tops … there is plenty of everything everywhere. The site is comfortable and way easier to get everything you need. There are only a couple tickets left, I would get them immediately if they are still available by the time this airs!
HHV: Why is it important for Blueprint to bring this festival to the city of Surrey, as opposed to somewhere else in Vancouver?
AP: The location. Everything about it makes sense. It works. We do so many events…so many clubs. We know what kind of people are coming from different cities via data we collect from the clubs. The demographics make sense. Surrey is a young, youthful city within proximity to the skytrain. There are no camping fees, no drives and you can sleep in your own bed or in a hotel.
Tickets can be purchased at http://fvdedinthepark.com/