How to find a show at Big Fernwood in Victoria BC

If you put “big fernwood” into gmaps it takes you to the wrong place, currently. Big Fernwood is in the Fernwood community centre (Little Fernwood is half a block away at Paul Philips Hall). You find the Fernwood community centre on Gladstone street.

The door may be open and there may be someone working the desk.  This person is unlikely to be doing door for the show but they can always answer questions.  From here you can sometimes you can go through the building directly and wait downstairs in the gym for the show. Usually, the door to the downstairs will be locked to give the bands a backstage area, and attendees are expected to go wait around back for the ticketing table to be ready to let you inside.

Usually you’ll hear the bands warming up or tuning etc or there’s canned music playing, and there will be people gathered on the grassy knolls around the skate course/basketball court.  If you skate, bring your board.  If you like to smoke, bring a lighter and smokes to share or bus fare to trade.  This part can feel cliquey if you’re alone/new, for sure; post up and soak it in as meditatively as you can, chief.

Importantly, there is unlikely to be a visible line-up of punks out front of the building.  Everyone out back is in a diffuse queue, so just go relax on the grass and take the edge off.

It is almost a certainty that the posted start time will be a bare minimum of 45 minutes earlier than the opening band beginning.  Build waiting-around-for-up-to-an-hour-and-a-half into your expectations/schedule, if you’re not running late yourself.

One common way to kill this wait time is to order several beers together while happyhour is still on at the Fernwood Inn, and build up a buzz over the course of the next 2 hours, then toddle over to BF.

The bands tend to park immediately behind the building, I suppose this is a good place to pin them down and demand they sign your merch.

Once the doors (approximately 180 degrees directly behind where the above picture was shot) are open, the ticketing table will be right inside.  Try not to make the door person make change for you.  Get the hand stamp.

Now you’re in. Probably use the washroom around now (through the back doors to the left of your entrance, in the foyer) and honestly the bands will still take an hour to get going from the time doors first happen, so like, go back outside.  Don’t get glued to the hardwood.

That’s pretty much it ?? have fun!

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One response to “How to find a show at Big Fernwood in Victoria BC”

  1. […] Big Fernwood, I’ll interject here, is a great venue in many respects.  The accoustics are fabulous.  The vibe is exceptionally wholesome. That’s sort of the fulcrum of the remainder of the praise and the body of the criticism: its just so scrubbed and well-lit. It has very little “punk” “atmosphere” in and of itself, to contribute to the vibe.  No one is ever going to get crowd-killed in this place but also you can’t tag the wall or drink inside.  The washroom is unisex (“all gender”) and easily accessed.  In summary, when I was visiting Toronto and got told that T.O.A.D. would soon be in Vic, I happened to be wearing a Fernwood Inn tanktop I found at a Beacon Thrift and snapped up because Big Fernwood and Little Fernwood don’t have cute summery merch shirts to hock at patrons.  That’s just not the true Fernwood, DIY vibe.  Those overpriced Fernwood Inn pieces are the next closest thing. […]

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