This morning the Internet—or at least the part of it populated by unrepentant nerds—is abuzz over the latest video uploaded to the official Star Wars YouTube channel. In it, Episode VII writer-director J.J. Abrams gives a final pitch for the Force for Change campaign, which raises funds for UNICEF and will give one lucky donor the chance to be in the latest Star Wars flick. (Almost certainly as an extra; you're not winning a chance to play Anakin Solo here.)

On July 18, the Straight reported that one person was found dead in a campground at the Pemberton Music Festival.

On Sunday (July 20), RCMP identified the deceased as Nick Phongsavath, a 21-year-old engineering student at the University of Regina.

The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is still investigating the incident, which it is describing as “suspicious”.

The event—which was attended by an estimated 75,000 people—continued as scheduled following the young man’s death.

Live Nation has announced that singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is coming to the Vogue Theatre on December 7.

Live Nation has announced that Canadian indie-rock band the New Pornographers are returning to the Commodore on October 3 (with guests Pickwick and Cool) and October 4 (with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and High Ends).

The New Pornographers formed in 1997, almost immediately recorded the classic Letter From An Occupant, and it was on. Their four full-lengths (as well as numerous solo ventures from A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, Todd Fancey, Kathryn Calder, and numerous films directed by Blaine Thurier) received critical and public acclaim, and continue to enjoy bigger (and taller and smarter) audiences.

A Vancouver-based ebook startup has snagged a major publishing partner.

BitLit Media announced today (July 21) that HarperCollins Publishers has signed on for a pilot program.

The local tech company has a mobile app that allows users to obtain the ebook editions of print books they already own for free or at a discount. The BitLit app came out for Android in January and iPhone in March.

HarperCollins will be offering the ebook versions of Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, Wicked by Gregory Maguire, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross for $1.99 to $2.99.

Randy Newman didn't draw huge crowds, but his set brought out some of the best-dressed people at the Pemberton Music Festival.  



Local singer-songwriter Jody Glenham is rocking a vintage tee, which is a really hot thing to do right now. She's completing her festival-blacks look with leggings from Le Chateau, a hoody from Uniqlo, and sunnies from Target, because you never bring expensive shades to a festival.



Christine McAvoy, from popular local blog Vancouver is Awesome, has legs for days in these Vero Moda jean shorts! She's also wearing a shirt from local alt-country rockers The Matinee, perfect for the modern woman on the go.

This thing is halfway between the Pemberton Stage, where bro-reggae outfit Rebellution is currently playing, and the Whistler Stage, where dubstep fiddler Lindsey Stirling is prancing around. 

You can hear both acts clearly from it, which likely means the festival organizers are attempting to open a portal to another dimension that Cthulu will emerge from. Steer clear of this evil structure, festival goers.

One of the Lower Mainland's better-known queer advocates, Imtiaz Popat, has declared that he hopes to get elected to the Vancouver park board this November.

Popat, who ran as a Green council candidate in Surrey in 2011, is seeking a COPE nomination in Vancouver.

Popat was a long-time host on Co-op Radio and has produced videos, founded a support group for LGBT Muslims, and been an environmental and antiwar activist.

He wants to help create a new Vancouver community centre modelled on 519 Church Street in Toronto. It offers programming for the LGBT community and new Canadians.

While nary a native headdress is to be seen on the Pemberton Music Festival grounds today, there is a veritable bronado of neon-slogan tees, flower crowns, and the worst tribal tattoos you could possibly imagine.   Not everyone looks like shit though. Even though Emily from Dirty Spells and Tristan from BESTiE likely haven't slept in days, they still effortlessly manage to pull off these chic festival looks. 

As seasoned concertgoer knows, there's more to a music festival than high-wattage headiners and bottles of water that somehow cost $5.

A big part of the fun is the fine folks who arrive on site convinced that we were all born to make spectacles of ourselves.

Here's a selection of people you might have seen strolling around the Pemberton Music Festival this weekend, shot by the Straight's Rebecca Blissett.

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