Music has always been something that I’ve held close to my heart. I played my first drum kit on my first birthday, and I haven’t stopped since.
I had long felt the absence of live music in Squamish after the loss of the epic Squamish Valley Music Festival (RIP). When I started to form music groups with my friends, I was eager to play live in Squamish, but it always came back to one question: Where is the Squamish live music scene?
With only so many live music venues in town, I quickly realized that it would be difficult to get a music scene up and running.
Ultimately it seemed like no one was up to the task. To me, it felt like the only time there were live shows was in the summer during the Amped in The Park concert series. For the other 10 months of the year, it felt that live music went into hibernation — only to be awoken by a few shows here and there.
I first heard about Squamish Punk Night a couple of months ago. I wasn’t sure where it was and how it worked, but I quickly became interested in finding out.
A couple of Saturdays ago, my bandmates and I pulled up to Peckinpah on Cleveland Avenue just in time for the opener. As I entered, I saw a stage in the corner and posters scattered on the walls around it. I was so excited at that moment to realize that Squamish does, in fact, have a proper “underground” venue.
Five bands played a total of four and a half hours. The bands were local and from Vancouver — there was even a band from the Philippines who had just had their visas approved. It was a decently packed event, and, because of this, the show’s energy was just all that much better.
Here we had an all-ages punk show that provided a venue for bands to play, and a live music experience that a high school kid like me could safely access in my own community instead of having to go to the city. And I got to meet the bands.
For the adults reading this, imagine for a moment that you were a teenager looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, and you came across something like this.
I don’t think I have ever had as much fun at a small venue before. Not only was it my first proper punk show, but it was also my first time hopping into a mosh pit and having a good time with friends just 10 minutes from home.
I came home just after midnight super happy and proud to know that the live music scene in Squamish is no longer on life-support.
This is what can happen when people come together in our community.
Now that we have a live music scene locked and loaded, how can we fire out some more shows? It is important that we build on this and give it a long-lasting life because it has the ability to impact the youth of Squamish forever.
After all, who would be opposed to a punk revival in Squamish?
Certainly not me.
Grant Boguski is a Squamish teen and member of the Squamish Youth Council.