With headliners such as Jack:U, Travis Scott, Bryson Tiller, Marshmello, Zedd, The Weeknd, etc. in recent years, Fvded in the Park has become the pre-eminent festival in Western Canada (aided by the demise of Pemberton). As a result, much is written about the festival and 70,000 attendees bare witness to the euphoria that exudes from Surrey the first weekend of July each year. As the only media with full backstage access with the artists the last couple years, we thought it would be a better read to give a full run-down on what it is like to be backstage at Fvded and hanging out with all the artists; a behind the scenes look at what the 70,000+ fans don't see...
How do we have this access? Basically, the artists put us down as part of their entourages and we quite literally are given wrist bands that identify us as artists (we have yet to perform, stay tuned).
We strolled up to the main gate but they didn't have our passes, they never do, so we had to go in and get them from Louis the Child ourselves. I quickly called their manager Mike, he came and got us (legend), and boom, we're backstage.
Backstage consists of a large assortment of trailers directly behind the stage that are each assigned to an artist performing that day. This is the second hardest area to get in to (the hardest will be revealed later on). Around the artist trailers are all the trailers for Blueprint (the promotion company), security, bathrooms, food trucks and then stuff for all the staging and such.
We meet up with Louis the Child and do an interview at one of the picnic tables outside. The guys are great, and unsurprisingly their youth and exuberance are impressive considering how long these two teenagers have been performing at large festivals. We’ve been doing 60 second video interviews recently with Vanic, Young Bombs, Stooki Sounds, as well as They. So Louis the Child were determined to deliver the best one to date. This is the embarrassing part though. The interview went fantastically well, the guys gave great answers about their sets, their pre-show rituals, favourite songs, girls etc. they absolutely smashed it... I found out much later that night that the person responsible for filming this interview completely messed this job up and we had NO FOOTAGE AT ALL! This was probably the most embarrassing thing that NeverRadio has ever done, shameful.
Nevertheless, we celebrated the ill-fated interview with some photos before we rode a golf cart to watch their set. Louis the Child proceeded to tear the stage down and the crowd went nuts. We went backstage afterwards for a burrito and a coffee and got ready for Dillon Francis, who was even better than expected with his mix, and Wiz Khalifa, who was flambuoyant and impressive with his lack of entourage and string of hits. We then left to catch some sleep before…
We rolled up to Day 2 pretty excited about what was to come with lines around the block and the sun shining brightly. We immediately headed to the stage to find our homie Tyler, aka NGHTMRE. We go onstage and see Tyler getting ready for his set, grab a Monster, and get ready for the show. It is a truly unique experience being on stage in front of 70,000 people and although this has happened a few times it never gets old.
After his set, we head back to his trailer to catch up and hang out. We've met Tyler many times and gone to shows with him in Vegas and other places so it's always good seeing him. We decide to head out to the picnic tables again to do our first full-length video interview and what follows is probably the most candid interview we've done to date and I think it shows in the end result. Check out the interview here:
As soon as the interview wraps we look up and see our friends Drew and Alex, better known as The Chainsmokers, walk in. Although we’re regularly emailing eachother, we haven't actually seen them in person for a minute. However, Alex gives a big bear hug that eased any concerns about amnesia. We could expound upon how incredible it is that The Chainsmokers still have so much time for us despite their meteoric rise to worldwide fame but summative let us just say that Alex Pall is such a phenomenal person, we have time for him all day. Check out our full interview with the boys HERE!
Accompanying the boys is Rory Kramer, the most in-demand videographer in the world. Shooting to fame from an Avicii video before going on tour with The Chainsmokers and Justin Bieber, Rory is super humble and approachable, even showing us the unedited episode of his new MTV show called Born to Live. The episode had Alex and Drew getting pulled over by cops for what can best be described as surfing on the trunk of a speeding car.
Backstage at this moment was one of the most surreal scenes we have ever been part of: Seated around us are Rory Kramer and Drew Taggert along with their photographer, Danilo. Massaging Drew, and also making cocktails for everyone, is Matoma who just finished his set before Tyler and instantly treated us like we were old friends. Alex Pall is to our left talking to Yellow Claw and in the background we can hear the sounds of PartyNextDoor crooning onstage. Vancouver’s very own, Vanic, who we recently proclaimed "the sexiest bald man in EDM" stopped by to say hello after his set as well, good times all around.
As a Blueprint photographer is unsuccessfully trying to get Alex and Drew to go off and take photos with him, The Chainsmoker’s stage manager, Clancy, announces it’s time to head to the stage. Everyone says their goodbyes and Alex, Drew, Rory, Danilo and NeverRadio head to the stage flanked by security. Standing at side stage, we watched Drew practice his singing with vocal exercises and a rendition of "The One". I asked if he still gets nervous before shows and he said "every single time man, we gotta treat each show with respect like it's our last one." Alex on the other hand is completely relaxed and we talk about fashion, drinks and what stage effects they're about to have. At this point, the opening notes of their set started and Drew began to sing "The One" standing right next to us (video below).
The show was phenomenal, we hope you all saw it. If not, hopefully you've seen them perform some other place across the planet in the past months. Alex and Drew sauntered off stage, sweaty but happy guys and we told them we'd see them in Vegas for the Conor McGregor fight (which we did) and said our goodbyes. We strolled off into the night, ears ringing from another incredible experience.
Feel free to tell everyone that you were there with us and hopefully this account will help you pull off that story perfectly.
Until the next one,