Sun. Apr 17, 2016

The end of another winter – particularly a powder filled one such as this - is always bitter sweet.
Snow won’t return to the Valley until the first flakes fly to hail a new season in October/November. WSSF is thus, always a fantastic way to mourn and celebrate the passing of another sensational season: filled with epic pow days, face shots, new lines, converting friends back to skiing, vertical stats and badges, bruises (physical and ego) and of course the Seppo’s ski out after those particularly rad days. Memories were made and although spring still hails multi-sport days and some sorely needed Vitamin D, the passing of winter is still tinged with longing for more and regret over unfulfilled lines. I’ll ski DOA next year I say.

After a non-stop week of arts, culture, killer music and more after-parties than you can shake a shot-ski at; The End party is to many of Whistler’s younger population – the perfect send off.
Whistler resident DJs, Case of the Mondays, kicked off the festival finale at 10pm to a sold out Conference Centre.  1,600 tickets were sold to a crowd eager to dance and reminisce to the beats and remixes of their winter’s favourite tracks and Case of the Mondays kicked off the party in style.

It’s hard to make the huge space in the Conference Centre feel full but this year’s turn out is the busiest I’ve seen in 5 years. Partiers came late, no doubt after attending the Gibbon’s Style Session; Seeking Nirvana’s Part 3 premiere; or a hair of the dog (or two) to rally beforehand after a week of revelry.  This party is all about the end game after all and with a license until 4am, it’s the party not to miss.

Revered earthling, Monster DJ and Whistler local, Mat the Alien played his much-loved mixes to the growing crowd under the display and light show that created ambience enviable of any rave. Ace Mackay-Smith absolutely rocked the stage alongside a Go-Go dancer; with hula hoop and num-chuck artistry keeping the crowd pumped too.

Neon Steve was next, with bass heavy breaks, beats and Trap tracks that had everyone in the room feeling the energy of his set. The Conference Centre was packed at this point - packed with friends from seasons past and present – who all agreed The End party was the best in recent memory.

Everybody was eagerly anticipating the headline event: Pendulum’s DJ El Hornet, who was rumoured to be cancelled only hours before due to a cancelled flight in Colorado. All was well however, and DJ El Hornet and MC Verse hit the stage at 2:30am, taking over the decks for a crowd pumped up after Neon Steve’s set. Particularly if you’re English or Australian and listened to Drum and Bass in the Naughties, you know and love Pendulum! Their iconic and idiosyncratic tracks are nostalgic for many who attended, myself included. I couldn’t wait to hear favourite tracks from my youth and dance with fellow fans and dance I did. My feet are still sore.

The inclusion of MC Verse had the audio a little too MC biased for my taste at first, preferring the MC over the bass and the crowd didn’t know how to respond to the live vocals after the sets of the previous DJs but this was corrected quickly and the crowd resumed their high energy bouncing. Some Whistler Junglist purists noted the inclusion of the MC created a different vibe to a true Pendulum live set.
Change isn’t always a bad thing however. Just like the change in seasons I guess.

This Whistler winter sure was one for the books and the cab queue circa 4am sure was the perfect time to reminisce.

So long winter! See ya in November.