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:
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
THE REKLAWS - SIDE STAGE
NICE HORSE - BULL & BARREL
JULIA HAGGARTY - BULL & BARREL
AARON ALLEN - BULL & BARREL
LOUD LUXURY - SIDE STAGE
RYAN SHEPHERD - SIDE STAGE
THE WASHBOARD UNION - BULL & BARREL
A HUGE thank you goes out to Rock It Promotions for hooking me up with the wristband and all their helpers at each venue guiding me through, also thank you to the Juno’s for making this such an amazing event. Thank you to the City of London for being so awesome and opening up all these venues for such an incredible and memorable experience. Thank you to Live Nation, Start.ca, Budweiser Gardens, Budweiser, Apple Music, TD Bank, Music Canada, SOCAN, VIA Rail, 3M, CBC Music, SiriusXM, Jackson Triggs, Long & McQuade … with out all of these sponsors things like this can’t happen.. and when things like this don’t happen, opportunities can’t happen.. this was an opportunity I never thought i’d have or get to be apart of… the Thankfulness is HUGE!