An Afternoon In Wonderland

Words by: Timothy Sutherland

Koi Child were the opening act at Wonderland, and in all of my experiences watching these guys live, this “Nu Jazz” – hip hop jazzy sounding – band has never failed a crowd. Their jazzy sound from the trumpets and saxophones pleased the small gathering they had on the dance floor and I was joined by many like minded souls that sat down in the open grass to watch and chill out to their soothing music ensemble.

My time after this in the early afternoon was spent walking around the seemingly large and empty festival venue of Langley Park. Included in this area was four bars, a food truck area, a tepee village, some festival rides and a single stage. A small silent disco was present too but that was nowhere near as exciting as I hoped. It only reminded me of how pointless I feel they are and I strongly believe that no value to a ticket can be justified by the inclusion of a silent tent with headphone ravers.

Image credit: Matsu

The four bar setup is my next important point of mention. That’s four bars for one stage and one tented area. Is that an excessive amount of alcohol? Maybe, I am not actually sure. But it did provide us all with variety and I’m pretty glad to have options when there’s free drinks to all guests willing to accept a challenge in the form of recycling. Beers were $10. That’s 10% of the entry price itself but I got around this and collected enough squashed cups and cans to pay my drink out. Yay.

During the intervals I observed people licking small zip lock bags, security chasing people around and laughing at the seemingly high guests on the spinning swings. But near the stage and in the VIP tent, there was a different tone and mood. 

The Dune Rats were playing “Dalai Lama, Big Banana, Marijuana,” one of their most surfy sound rock songs and it hit off really well with the fans as a pleasant change from Sweater Beats, who did not say hi during his hour long set. Good mix, though.

Image credit: Matsu

Then Safia took over the stage like no other with their hit song “Take Me Over” playing to a flocking audience. I can’t say anything bad about this set as it was right on point and so was the smoky smell lingering around the front area.

Image credit: Matsu

An audience member’s quote on Hot Dub Time Machine: “It’s not surprising and he is what I expected.” Just like that dude at the house party who killed your buzz, Hot Dub was a boring act that you could not help but laugh along with. Hits from the 80’s to some song on nova playing today did not really work for me and many others.

Anyway, I could smell more marijuana wafting over my way, and  that’s when The Kite String Tangle was projected onto the LCD screens, setting the scene for the Broods. Both absolutely nailed it.

Image credit: Matsu

I’m not biased to live music here but Koi Child, Safia, TKST and Broods were the best acts in the entire show and Wonderland did a great job by distributing them evenly and spaciously on the timetable that was visible for anyone with a wrist band. Yes, along with the innovative idea of free drinks for recycling, Wonderland came up with an ingenious way for us to keep track of time by giving us a set list on our wrist. That is how I knew Alison would be the last act. Wonderland presenting Wonderland – what a way to end the night.

Image credit: Matsu

Points to mention:

  • The acts were mixed with only a few serious BANGERZ present
  • Drinks can cost 10% of your ticket or free depending on your green thumb
  • Cheap Toasties
  • Cloths and stalls in tepees in a cool looking bar setup

If you can justify a door price of ~ $100 with this list then definitely go to wonderland. You’ll find tickets next year through Metric events.