What's it all about?
The ceremony at Rogers Arena may be the focus of the national event, but the Junos have always been about more than the trophies. For those who didn’t manage to snag a ticket to the main show, there’s plenty of options to get out and experience what the local scene has to offer—the largest being the Let’s Hear It! LIVE outdoor festival. Set in the scenic Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza—a spot that recently received a $9.6-million facelift—the two-day free event will connect fans with up-and-coming and established Lower Mainland acts, including Juno nominees. Emphasizing the city’s diversity, the lineup covers every inch of the musical map, with First Nations hip-hop artists, shoegazing indie bands, and high-octane EDM DJs all slated to hit the stage. Friday (March 23) will play host to seven acts from noon onward—the perfect soundtrack to a working lunch and an after-work party—while Saturday (March 24) begins with a morning of kid-friendly performers before nine more bands fire up the festival site.
Five sets you can’t miss
Friday [March 23] from 8 to 9 p.m.
Good old-fashioned funk meets crisp EDM production. Think LMFAO with less buoyant hair.
I M U R
Saturday [March 24] from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m.
With its silky harmonies and sexy R&B vibe, I M U R makes music that speaks to the heart.
Saturday [March 24] from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.
Get ready for summer with Peach Pit’s laid-back, jangly guitar riffs and feel-good choruses.
Friday [March 23] from 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Don’t have the money for a trip to Nashville? This country-radio darling offers tracks just as soulful much closer to home.
Saturday [March 24] from 4:45 to 5:15 p.m.
Brace yourself for fist-pumping electro bangers from this member of the Monstercat family.
All shows are at the Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza.
Editor's Choice: Little Destroyer
Little Destroyer is, frankly, not so little anymore. Once one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets, the band recently caught the ear of international fans at showcases at the SXSW festival in Austin, and has Tallinn Music Week in Estonia and the Focus music festival in Wales on the books for the summer—all of which will offer the group plenty of exposure. With a sound at once densely bleak and infectiously upbeat, the trio binds a lo-fi aesthetic with high-budget production, creating a big-room sound with all the attitude of a pissed-off punk band. Composed of achingly cool frontwoman Allie Sheldan and multi-instrumentalist brothers Chris and Michael Weiss, Little Destroyer has a penchant for working the crowd—so expect a powerful and intimate show on Friday (March 23) at the Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza, with the band hitting the stage at 6:45 until 7:30 p.m.
Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays