Me and my cowgirls at Unbuckled

Unbuckled Vancouver – the good, the bad and the ugly

jennisheppardBlog, Lifestyle Leave a Comment

This weekend, I put my best plaid on, kicked up my boots and got my inner cowgirl going at the very first Unbuckled in Vancouver, a country hoedown fest aiming to be yet another annual excuse for our city to spend a summer’s day drinking. So what’s the verdict?

The good

Footloose Foosball at Unbuckled 2015

Footloose Foosball at Unbuckled 2015

  • Beautiful, sunny location at Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval
  • 19+ so you didn’t have to show ID at the bar, or stay in a confined area
  • Beer, wine and premixed drinks all available at the bars
  • Fun games, including human foosball, a bucking bronco and tug of war
  • Bands were playing country music all afternoon on stage, or wandering round
  • A mass line dancing lesson got everyone heel digging at the main stage
  • Not too many people, so loads of space to sit around on straw bales

The bad

The Chain Gang at Unbuckled 2015

The Chain Gang at Unbuckled 2015

  • The Oval was not that big, and not easily accessible on transit
  • Expensive entry – $35 for a ticket – no drinks tokens included
  • Pricey drinks. $6 for a can of Pilsner. And that was the only beer available.
  • Only three food trucks (grilled cheese, baked potatoes and cup of corn)  and a BBQ grill – so lineups were long
  • None of the bands were well known, at least to me, and seemed to play mostly covers
  • The line dancing lesson was hard to follow; no big screens to help people at the back
  • The whole festival felt a bit overbranded. From the drinks (limited to the brands of Pilsner, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort and Jimador) to the afterparties (which, we kept being reminded, were at The Roxy and The Roadhouse).

The ugly

The organizers put on shuttle buses to ship people from the event to their official afterparties downtown. Great! But then they charged riders an extra $5. I kinda feel like if they’re shipping you to their chosen locations, in the hope of making more money out of you, the buses should be free?

One last showdown?

Dressed as cowgirls, playing human foosball, drinking in the sunshine… sure, we had a fun time. But I’m not sure I’ll be returning to this quite expensive “hoedown” if it makes a comeback next year.

in the meantime, here’s some bucking bronco fun for y’all, as a reward for reading this whole blogpost!

King of the Rodeo at Unbuckled 2015

I want your feedback. Any thoughts, reaction, advice… Let me know in the comments below!

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