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Jibfest 2018: a whirlwind west coast weekend

TJ Mizell performs last Saturday at the Marble Mountain Chalet as part of Jibfest 2018.
TJ Mizell performs last Saturday at the Marble Mountain Chalet as part of Jibfest 2018. - Submitted

The west coast vs. east coast is an intense debate in Newfoundland, as patriotic islanders profess undying love for their beloved homeland. A proud east coaster, I’ll concede the west coast was the best coast this past weekend, as Jibfest brought the ruckus from all over the island.

I headed to Corner Brook from St. John’s Feb. 16, my role as a journalist securing my seat on the Coors Light Party Bus with Road to Jibfest winners.

Piled in among a seemingly infinite supply of beer, we used the 700-kilometre trek to get pumped up for Friday night’s Coors Light Block Party.

Always my favourite Jibfest event, the Block Party brings three Broadway bars to life simultaneously, with one $15 wristband granting entry to all.

I started at Whelan’s Gate, arriving amidst applause for the premiere of “The Trail,” a snowboarding short film by local apparel company Voltfuse.

Local band Girls, an all-male four-piece, brought the bar to capacity before their set of pop covers ended.

The Bar Room, a hidden gem open only for special occasions, was my next stop.

DJs Cuthbert Arcard (16 Keys), JBillz (St. John’s Edge Official DJ), and Two Jays played among the visuals from Neon Satori Productions.

After busting a few moves on the dance floor, it was time to move on to Tallboys.

I entered as Carter Snow and Nick Halfyard — reunited as Shark Week — hit the stage. DJ CUZ and Andrew Quilty (HYPE) were also on the bill.

The bar jam-packed and the coat check full, we tucked our coats under our arms and hit the dance floor. It was cold outside, but this bar was hot.

A Jibfest veteran, I finished the night at my usual final destination: Louis Gee’s, home of the honey garlic fingers.

This was the perfect way to end an approximately 20-hour day of travelling and partying, and a good way to soak up some liquor in preparation for the next night of madness.

I didn’t spend Saturday “shredding pow” like many Jibfest attendees, but I made my way to Marble Mountain on Saturday night for the Feb. 17 Jibfest Main Event.

N.L.’s own DJ Nick Halfyard warmed up the audience for headliner TJ Mizell, well known for his work as a DJ for American rapper ASAP Ferg.

Mizell, the son of RUN DMC’s Jam Master Jay, played a high-energy set filled with crowd-pleasing hip/hop and rap tunes. Bathed in the glow of visual effects from Neon Satori Productions, Mizell rapped along with his chosen tracks, amping up the approximately 600 festival-goers in the lodge, who partied until the lights came on.

Spirits weren’t nearly as high in my travel group on Sunday morning as we piled back onto the bus, sadly missing the Sunday evening “Laugh It Off” comedy show at the Marble Mountain chalet.

From coast to coast, bar to bar, valley to mountain, Jibfest 2018 was a wild ride, and I’m already stoked to see what Brent Mac Events has in mind for “gettin’ jibby with it” next year.

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