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Keeping up with the young'uns at the 10th Jibfest

Snowboarders at Jibfest X over the weekend at Marble Mountain. INTROSPECTIVE DESIGN/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Snowboarders at Jibfest X over the weekend at Marble Mountain. INTROSPECTIVE DESIGN/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Music festival Jibfest celebrated 10 years in February 2020, marking a decade of bringing together west coasters and townies for a weekend of live music, DJs, barhopping, skiing and snowboarding.

Kicking off Feb. 14, a busload of Jibfesters departed from Memorial University bright and early Friday morning, beginning the 700-kilometre pilgrimage.

Of the 27 people on board, 15 were Jibfest virgins, and they had no idea what kind of whirlwind weekend they were in for.

A seasoned pro at this point, having attended almost all of the 10 previous festivals, I imparted as much wisdom as I could, still knowing that these kids would blaze their own trails, among other things.

Friday night’s Coors Light Block Party offered performances from Far East, Soap Opera and J-Billz at Whalen’s Gate; DJ Hype, Garrison Hill, Two Jays and Chad Cole at the Bar Room; Girls at Flynn’s; DJ Coupe and Bruce M8 at The Cave; Halftraxx at The Palace; and a snowboarding film screening from Voltfuse at Swirsky’s.

With so many events going on at the same time, Broadway became a pedestrian street a la George Street, with hundreds of people – many, unsurprisingly, not dressed for the frigid February temperatures – travelling between venues.

The party raged late into the night, with bars officially shutting down after 3 a.m.

Marble Mountain was the place to be on Saturday, with an open-format best-trick style competition – at a rate of a fin (five-dollar bill) per trick – taking place on the trails. One boarder pulled out a double backflip, the footage well worth the five bucks.

The main event was also at Marble. Though typically in the lodge, this year the stage was located outdoors, at the foot of the mountain near the chalets. Presumably a logistical nightmare, this was an impressive set-up, with drink-ticket booths, beer tents, portapotties and hay spread across the snow.

People dressed up for this event, many wearing onesies over their snowsuits, dancing to American rapper Sammy Adams, Toronto-based DJ Famba and B.C. electronica duo Skiitour, with entertainment from Larry the Enticer, seemingly a mainland Donnie Dumphy type, for context.

JibfestX’s final event, also at Marble Mountain, was the “Laugh It Off” comedy show – the title likely referring to the collective hangover in the room.

The lineup, featuring Luke Lawrence, Vicky Mulally, Christopher Dunn, Liam Small and Mike Rita, was the perfect low-key finale for the high-energy festival.

For me, this year’s Jibfest, full of young smiling faces unaware of just how much liver damage they would inflict upon themselves in Jibfests to come, left me feeling like Matthew McConaughey’s character in the 1993 film “Dazed and Confused” – “I get older, they stay the same age.”

Here’s to the young, or, in my case, trying to keep up.


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