DJ Carter Snow looks out over a sea of happy faces at Marble Mountain Lodge at Jibfest 2012. — Submitted photo
As Jibfest weekend swiftly approaches, many east coasters are growing increasingly excited to pack up their snowboards and a large supply of liquid refreshment in preparation for the biggest winter party that Newfoundland has to offer.
This marks the third year that Jibfest has been taking place on the west coast of the island and the event has been steadily growing in attendance each year. Combining live bands and DJs, as well as snowboarding competitions, what began as a small weekend excursion has turned into a islandwide pilgrimage to Marble Mountain.
Legit Entertainment and Brent Mac Events, both St. John’s event planning companies, and their partner Sure Fire Entertainment, an Atlantic Canada-based promotion company are proving that when they team up, they are an unstoppable party rocking force.
This year, attendees can look forward to a night of DJing at The Pepsi Centre, the Coors Light Block Party, and a concert featuring The Trews and Baytown. The addition of a heavier rock concert is new to the Jibfest Weekender, but organizer Brent McNamara is sure the event will be a huge success.
On top of the addition of The Trews show, Legit is bringing a game changer to the table this year. The Coors Light Block Party takes place in four bars, all featuring different genres of music such as Top 40 hits, hip hop, rock and house music.
Two DJs from Toronto and Vancouver are also on the bill. One bracelet will grant admission into each of the four venues, allowing attendees to pick and choose or experience every kind of sound available.
“We wanted a broader appeal and to really take on the festival approach, to open up more events. It’s big for students where it’s midterm break, but it’s also Winter Carnival in Corner Brook so the whole town is on holiday as well,” McNamara said.
This year, overwhelming ticket sales has forced the Jibfest Weekender to move from Marble Mountain resort, where they have held their events for the last two years, to the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook. This change of venue is a surprise to many partygoers, but the need to switch came as a bigger surprise to the men responsible for organizing the weekend extravaganza.
“Honestly, we mulled over the idea of switching for two to three days, sat down with a pen and paper, and went over the pros and cons. At the end of the day, the pros really outweighed the cons. The whole mountain vibe of Marble is a great atmosphere, and Marble has been really great to us for the last two years, but with the increased numbers, it just made sense in every way to switch,” McNamara said.
Carter Snow, one of the DJs and an organizer, finds the demand almost surreal.
“We were kind of worried about people hating on the switch of the venues,” Snow added, “but the fact that our bar service will tremendously improve is an amazing thing,” he said.
“We’re seeing a lot of things, a lot of Facebook posts, a lot of tweets coming in from people, just not in St. John’s and Corner Brook but all across the island. It’s continuing to expand,” McNamara said. “Even if you’re in Nova Scotia you can get a ferry over for relatively the same price (as travelling from the Avalon Peninsula).”
“Realistically, we’ve sized it up and I’m just gonna say it, it is the biggest (winter) party in Atlantic Canada. That’s a fact,” McNamara said, with a wide grin sweeping his face.
With over 950 people in attendance last year, and more than 1,000 tickets sold this year, hopefully Corner Brook is ready for the upcoming bash.
Mike Jackson, business resources manager for the City of Corner Brook, says these kind of events have a positive benefit on the community, aside from the obvious economic benefit.
“We have identified ourselves as being a post-secondary town with 2,500 post-secondary students that sort of call this place home while they’re in school. I think events like this that provide good opportunities for these students to engage in activities that they like, that they enjoy, creates a better living environment for them,” Jackson said.
Stephanie Parsons, owner/operator of NewfoundQuests, has no doubt that Jibfest brings economic prosperity to the west coast.
NewfoundQuests has teamed up with the Glynmill Inn and Hotel Corner Brook to provide Jibfest commuters with transportation and accommodation in one easy transaction.
“From hotel accommodations to lift passes and rentals, cabs and other consumer purchases like food and booze, there is a significant amount of cheddar rolling into town that weekend,” Parsons said.
“We (NewfoundQuests and Jibfest) have a kind of symbiotic relationship whereby we forward people on our trip to their events and they forward anyone interested in their events to our trip, which provides a convenient and affordable way to take it all in,” Parsons said.
“There will be a lot of people heading out to shred the mountain and party it up next weekend and we’re looking forward to a great time on the west coast!”