Boom! The 2015 BVCF was awesome! It was my first year there as a climber and media sponsor. I spent some time climbing, shooting (more-so for a project I'll be posting up later), and socializing. I figured it'd be good to write up my own experiences for any future festival-aspirants, and for those who wanted to know what they missed out on ;) .
Many of the morning/afternoon festivities and clinics are held at Metcalfe Rock, but I decided to join some friends at The Swamp. Though most clinics were held at Metcalfe, I did get to observe a fear management course from Overhang Adventures (free with a festival pass). The instructors were quite professional and personable, teaching a subject that's relatively unconventional within the climbing realm. It's nice to see courses like these that target an often unaddressed topic.
Between portraits, interviews, and climbing, the day sort of disappeared quickly. The BVCF schedule is quite tight if you want to maximize your time, ideally being at Rob Roy before 5pm. I think perhaps I'm also not used to leaving the crag at 4:30pm. BVCF is also (technically) one day, so there's a bunch to squeeze in. With my typical climbing habits, I made it to Rob Roy just in time for dinner.
Suggestion: If you're coming in from the Toronto area, get an earlier start and use the day for climbing and clinics - there's plenty of time to relax and socialize afterwards :) .
The evening at Rob Roy was quite lively - plenty of music, vendors, food, and contests to occupy oneself with. One of the more surprising things for me was how well the farm lent itself to the BVCF. It was spacious and rustic, well maintained, and tucked away in a nice nook. Perhaps one of the less pleasant surprises was when an inebriated version of myself discovered how long the walk was from the festival grounds to the camping area. Something to keep in mind if you need to decide whether to drink more at your campsite or at the festival grounds ;) .
Later into the evening live music and dance broke out in the barn, and the bonfire was started by the campground. The bonfire was perhaps, in my opinion, the best part of the evening, bringing out many interesting characters, and the perfect area to meet them. Worth noting that the actual camping area is incredibly spacious with washroom accommodations.
The next morning was a slow start, with the festival mostly packed up and many of us recovering from hangovers. For hangover cures, I head over to Mylar And Loreta's for breakfast.
The festival was a very enjoyable experience overall, and I'd recommend it anyone who regularly visits the area or is looking to check it out. There's plenty of opportunities to try your hand at something new and to meet people in a comfortable environment.
If you're stoked, consider spreading the word about the BVCF next year! There's a lot of folks who I met at the cliff who didn't know that the festival was on. The more the merrier :) .