Tillsonburg ON Turtle Fest

Turtle Fest…. figured there would be turtles but sadly… didn’t see one, however there were turtle themed things, lots of vendors, a vintage car show, rock climbing, busking, and much more but what was I there for? …. the bands of course!

Kelsi Mayne, Nice Horse and The Abrams took to the stage for this years Turtle Fest and everyone of these bands just killed it! As many of you know I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work one on one with the lovely Kelsi Mayne and have photographed her and her band many times in the last year live. Not only is Kelsi a sweet heart but her band are genuine people, funny, and appreciative of where they are and what they have accomplished so far. This show was another success, playing all the hits, getting the crowd going, they sounded great, looked good and even played a new tune that no one has heard before “ S.O.S “ .. now that this blog is a few days old.. others have heard it.. if you were at the Sound Of Music Festival in Burlington On. this past weekend and saw Kelsi perform, you now know that song too.

Nice Horse, damn! this all female, energetic, amazing stage presence band is incredible… this was only the 2nd time I’ve seen them & shot them, first time being at JunoFest during the Juno’s week in London at Bull & Barrel and both times i’m just blown away by their performance. Nice Horse have these amazing vocal harmonies that vibrate through your entire body making you really feel their songs. Running around on stage interacting with one another, leaning on one another, guitars and basses up in the air, their drummer, Krista comes up to the front and sings, she has a stomp pedal to make sure the heart beat of the band is always pumping.. even a single snare drum on a stand off to the right of the stage so she can stand there and beat the hell out of it….. their whole performance is an incredible one to watch.

The Abrams, a name I’ve heard many times but never experienced live until now and let me tell you.. I was floored. They carry so much energy with them, also amazing vocal harmonies.. songs that are happy, are sad.. slow and fast it’s a great mix. From the Abrams I saw a fiddler jumping all over, a singer and guitarist kneeling down, almost praising a fiddle solo, a guitarist busting out crazy solos while throwing a guitar around.. it was an awesome experience seeing these guys play with such a tight sound and so much energy.

Over all, Turtle Fest was a positive experience, I think the bands had a great time, I know I had a fantastic time and from the smiles on the faces of the crowd, the people down in front dancing and all the kids running around, dancing and laughing.. I think they all had a fun time too!

THE ABRAMS

NICE HORSE

KELSI MAYNE

RAM RODEO TOUR - BURFORD ONTARIO

Horses, Bulls, Dirt, Dust, Tractors, Barrels, Men, Women and a WHOLE LOT OF ACTION!!!

RAM RODEO is an amazing event that is action packed with a bunch of tough men and women who put themselves on the backs of horses and bulls which throw them around like rag dolls. Not only Branco Riding and Bull Riding, but they also have a Stunt Rider our of New York, and Flag Riding Team.. there’s a lot going on.

With events like Barrel Racing, Poles, Bucking Branco’s, and Bull Riding there’s something for everyone. Personally, Bull Riding is my favourite .. the aggressiveness of the bulls and the power makes it crazy to photograph but really.. all of it is fun to shoot. Yesterday was a good mix of sun and cloud, wasn’t to hot but the dust was relentless .. normally they water the riding area, but it was so dry every time they watered it the sun would dry it up in minutes, so instead of wasting the water we just went with the dust.. I was covered but it was so fun. Some of these riders were thrown down hard, stepped on by the bulls and branco’s, got up like it was nothing and will ride another day.. just blows my mind. If the Ram Rodeo Tour is coming your way, do yourself a favour and get a ticket.. take the kids.. they will love it!

WOODSTOCK TRUCK SHOW 2019

Do you ever just ‘POP’ into a moment where you all of a sudden you realize how amazing that moment really is? How lucky you are to be there? really feel the opportunity? That’s what happened to me at the Woodstock Truck Show.

A few good friends at my side, some amazing bands, which one of them I consider the members all good friends, a hot day/warm night, cameras in my hands and a huge smile on my face. There was a point when Andrew Hyatt was on stage, he was performing one of my fav songs “Habit” and all of a sudden it was like a title wave of realization came up and slapped me in the face. All day I was out in this glorious weather (until the typhoon hit.. more on that in a minute), two people who I really get along with and enjoy being at concerts with (Lisa & Jodi), I was backstage most of the time with the bands.. some I knew, some I didn’t, some I’ve photographed before, some I haven’t but I was able to be back there and talk with them… it just all came together into this amazing experience that I’m so grateful for and in that moment I just stood there and smiled listening to this amazing song.. I remember leaning over to Lisa and saying “ Do you ever all of a sudden just realize how amazing a moment really is? “

So … if you read all that .. I bought up a Typhoon… here it is. Buck Twenty, one of the incredible bands that played, they actually opened the show and were awesome as I knew they would be.. first time I’ve seen them live.. they were playing an amazing set when all of a sudden the sky got really dark.. we all knew it was coming.. it had rained a lot in the morning and more was expected in the afternoon and it was rolling in quick. I can’t remember how many songs in they were but I remember smelling rain and felt a few drops so I went running for my car… camera gear doesn’t like rain much.. Just as I got to my car it just poured! the wind was so strong the Rockstar Energy tents blew over.. Country 104’s tent was wrecked, it bent.. my car was shaking.. Thunder and Lightening.. I didn’t see it but apparently Buck Twenty’s gear got wet so I’m really hoping it’s all ok.. I would hate to see anything get wrecked, those guys are so nice and gear is so expensive but someone said they packed up very quick. We weren’t sure if the show was going to continue or not but I mean.. it’s a Truck Show! with Country music .. a little rain and mud isn’t going to stop us! half hour or so went by and everything cleared up, sun came out and we were back in the game!

Of course this “truck show” isn’t just concerts… there’s Trucks!! a lot of people thought pick up trucks that were jacked up and all that but they were wrong! TRANSPORT TRUCKS! a few dump trucks as well. See the guys that put the truck show on, Scott and Kevin Verbruggen come from a long line of trucking! so of course including the trucks and a calendar competition just made sense. All proceeds from the truck show and calendar sales go to the Special Olympics Ontario so it’s all for an amazing cause and we have such a great time every year.

Performers this year were: Buck Twenty, Kelly Prescott, Danielle Bourjeaurd, Kelsi Mayne and headlining Andrew Hyatt

This was such an amazing line up, every year it gets better and better, the crowd is getting bigger and bigger, I am so thankful this event exists, especially for Woodstock, we don’t get a lot of this kind of thing here, we’re a small town and it’s so incredible to see bands like this coming here and putting us on the map! Huge thank you goes out to Scott and Kevin for putting this great event on and including me year after year.. HUGE thanks going out to all the bands that came out to help raise money for the Special Olympics Ontario and putting on such amazing performances it’s just outstanding!

AND NOW…. THE IMAGES!!!!!! Ps.. if you read all of that.. well done, you’re a champ!

BUCK TWENTY

KELLY PRESCOTT

DANIELLE BOURJEAURD

KELSI MAYNE

ANDREW HYATT

TRUCKS

Again… HUGE THANK YOU, goes out to all the bands, trucks, vendors and individuals that came out to perform and make this event what it is.. such a special day/night.

Left - Kevin Vebruggen (event founder/Coordinator) Middle - Andrew Hyatt (Singer/Songwriter) Right - Scott Vebruggen (Event Founder/Coordinator)

Globemaster C-177 London Ontario Airport - Publication

Word got out that a C-177 Globemaster out of Trenton Ontario would be flying into the London Ontario Airport YXU to pick up some very lucky Cadets who would be going up for a flight. Media had said that the Globemaster was scheduled to arrive at YXU for 9am, however, it was said that the Globemaster ran into a mechanical issue that needed to be addressed before they left Trenton Airforce Base. With only 4 hours of Sleep, I woke up at 7am and headed on out to London, I arrived around 8am.. thank goodness I had my coffee with me but should have brought some food with me too. After hearing about the Globemasters delay, it was now said it would be at the airport around 10:30am - 11am, more waiting and by now, the coffee was starting to work and I needed to relieve myself but there were so many people around.. thank god for fields and bushes lol. 11am rolled around, still no Globemaster, rumor had now spread that it was still on the tarmac in Trenton and wouldn’t be arriving until 12:30pm - 1pm.. at this time a lot of the people that were there waiting were getting in their cars and leaving.. me however.. I didn’t have plans and had already waited 5 hours, no point in leaving now. Around 1:45pm we heard that the Globemaster was in the air and on it’s way to YXU… my time line might be a little off but I remember it was somewhere around 3pm when we saw it on approach out of the east. Over this website I had on my phone where I could listen to the Control Tower I heard “ Bison5, you are clear to approach and land on runway ONE FIVE “ I quickly grabbed the camera and ran up onto this mound that was directly in line with the centre of runway 15 and it put me up high enough I was up over the fence and knew this was the best angle to get an amazing straight on shot.
As the Globemaster approached it looked like it was to high and to far into the runway to make a landing so we all thought it was going to do a touch-and-go, or a low pass then circle around to land which would have been so cool, unfortunately, it dropped like a rock and came in for a landing.. I was surprised, figured it would need a lot more of the runway to land than what it used. Knowing that they were there to pick up cadets for a flight, we knew that the C-177 would be doing a take off which would bring it right at us. When it landed it came in from the opposite end of the runway from us and was to far away to get a decent shot of the landing, so the take off was what I was waiting for. It took roughly 35 mins to load the first group of Cadets up, then we heard over the scanner that they were getting ready to taxi passed runway 09 and down to the back of runway 15. Back up on the dirt mound I was dead centre of runway 15 and could see the Globemaster start to roll.. I could hear the 4 massive engines power up and see all the dust blow around behind it on the runway creating a large dust cloud. It’s a bit intimidating seeing something that huge come right at you, then lift off of the ground and stay up in the air, then fly right over your head. I remember looking up at one point when the plane filled my frame and I couldn’t shoot anymore and all I saw was Grey .. no sky, just grey.. it was right over my head, the sound was so loud I could feel the rumble in my chest then a massive amount of air blowing back on me… just crazy.

After editing and posting on social media it was pointed out to me that the London Ontario International Airport (YXU) had shared my image on their site, their twitter, Instagram and facebook which is pretty awesome! It was definitely worth waiting around on Creamery Rd. for 7 hours to get the shot… now it’s the long wait until September for the London Air Show!

C-177 GLOBEMASTER - take off from YXU
© Kevin Vyse Photography
Image Publication on YXU website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

JUNO AWARDS 2019

Never in a million years would I have ever thought that photography would take me to the Juno’s… but first I want to say, it didn’t really take me to the Juno awards themselves.. but very close and I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given. Leading up to the Juno Award night there is JUNO FEST, which is 100 different bands playing in 15 different venue’s across the city (London Ontario). Just outside of Budweiser Gardens in the South Parking Lot there was a giant heated tent that housed THE SIDE STAGE, which is where some bigger acts played and the Official Juno’s After Party was held. With the wrist band I was awarded, I had access to the Side Stage and all 15 venues in London, could cut the lines and get in early in order to photograph the bands playing in each venue. This wristband also allowed me to have access to the JUNO CUP, a hockey game between the Artists, and Professional Hockey players.

With out going through all the details and dragging this blog post out into a massive thing no one will ever read…. Side Stage was incredible. It was the first show I shot during the Juno’s and it started out with the incredible WASHBOARD UNION who I had not seen yet and really wanted to so it was amazing that I was able to see them (seen them twice during the Juno’s but we’ll get to that), but also photograph them! These guys are incredible, such a friendly bunch, their vocal harmonies are dead on and sound so good, their songs are lively and keep your feet tappin’. Up next was Jess Moskaluke who I had also never seen and also wanted to.. I was on a roll! she was fantastic sounded just like she does on the radio and knocked out all her hits. Last but definitely not least THE REKLAWS!!! I’ve photographed The Reklaws … 4 or 5 times now and they never ever get old.. seriously.. love them to death, their songs are contagious, Jenna is hilarious on stage and so fun, Stu with his smiles and for some reason always seems to look my way and give me a point his finger or his guitar and I love it!

Back to The Washboard Union. After they won their Juno for Breakthrough group of the year.. and I mean right after, they were performing again at The Bull and Barrel and let me tell you, that show was insane. The high Washboard was on from winning that Juno, the buzz from the crowd excited to see them and so very happy for them winning a Juno.. the place was so packed, I was lucky I got there over an hour early so I could be right up front because If I had shown up even 20 mins later than I did.. I was at the back of the building. Washboard Union was so happy to win and even happier to share their win with their fans in Bull and Barrel that night it was one hell of a party.. they have a rule where they do not drink if they are performing, but just once, that rule was broken to celebrate their Juno. Shots were brought out and Chris from the band says “ boys the medicine is here” … many thank you’s were said, so much appreciation from the band to the fans, to each other.. it was a moment i’ll never forget.

This post is getting very long so I’m just going to list the other bands I had the pleasure of photographing and I want them all to know I’m so thankful for their music, their image shares and the opportunities I’ve had to photograph:

AARON ALLEN
JULIA HAGGARTY
NICE HORSE
LOUD LUXURY
RYAN SHEPERD

There would be more on this list, such as The Trews, Genevieve Fisher and a few more but when I arrived to the venue’s at their set times they were so packed I literally couldn’t even get in the doorway.


THE WASHBOARD UNION - SIDE STAGE

JESS MOSKALUKE - SIDE STAGE

Jess Moskaluke performing at the 2019 JUNO’s - Side Stage in London, On.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

THE REKLAWS - SIDE STAGE

The Reklaws performing on the Side Stage at the 2019 Juno’s - London Ontario.
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media

NICE HORSE - BULL & BARREL

NICE HORSE performing during the 2019 JUNO FEST at Bull & Barrel - London Ontario
© Kevin Vyse | Stage Pass Media