Free Plaza Jams on Main Street offers free outdoor pop-up concerts

The Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area is offering Plaza Jams on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting on May 15 until September. Plaza Jams is a series of free outdoor live music featuring local artists playing a diverse range of genres and styles including acoustic indie jams, alternative, blues, rock, pop and folk.

Free Plaza Jams on Main Street offers free outdoor pop-up concerts

Wednesday concerts are located at the public plaza on Main and 21, and Thursday concerts are held at the public plaza at Main and 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Wednesday series starts on May 15 with Angie Faith, a local indie folk singer-songwriter. Jazz fans will enjoy the Lesley Branton Trio on May 16 at 14. May 22 features Rhyan Caven, an indie folk singer-songwriter. On May 23, Sieski plays alternative and indie pop. On May 29, Semi Athletic plays alternative rock and folk. Crash World plays a blend of folk, pop, jazz, and blues. Get ready to dance to DJ Jumbotron’s set of global grooves on June 5. Jen Hershman plays soul-pop on June 6. For more information, visit their website.

Local artists who wish to perform can submit applications online. The Mount Pleasant BIA is also booking artists for several other events this summer. These are all paid gigs, with sets ranging from 45 to 120 minutes. Compensation depends on the size and scope of the event booked, and the artist’s experience.

According to Sierra Morrison, the MPBIA Marketing and Event Manager, the Plaza Jams started informally about three years ago. “These events are a testament to the vibrant spirit of Mount Pleasant and Vancouver. We encourage everyone to come out, bring their friends and family, grab snacks or takeout from nearby restaurants and grocers, and support some of our incredibly talented local musicians,” says Morrison.

The plaza at Main and 21st is one of the designated drinking areas in Vancouver, but the event will not serve alcohol or provide a beer tent. There are many great restaurants and cafes in the area to grab a drink and a snack for a picnic. For coffee, try Kafka’s, Aperture, Foglifter Coffee or Continental Coffee. Take out restaurants include East is East, Caffe Mira, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, and Bob Likes Thai Food.

In addition, starting on May 30, there will be a monthly Paint at the Plaza pop up at the Main and 21st Plaza from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is presented in partnership with Art from the Heart YVR. Tickets range from $35 to $55 and supplies are included.

According to their website, “We are in a continued pursuit to make art more accessible and to provide more opportunity to paint with as many of you as we can. With that, our partnership with Mount Pleasant BIA gives us the ability to offer accessible pricing, based on your needs.” More information here.

Other upcoming events include the Just Off Main – Block Party & Market Series on weekends, Dude Chillin’ Fest on Saturday, July 27, 12-8 PM, the Watson St Music Festival on Saturday, August 24, 12-6PM, and Car Free Day on Sunday, September 15.

According to their website, the Mount Pleasant BIA is mandated “To create an enhanced business environment that provides assistance and advocacy for our members and their relatable needs and concerns.”

In 1989 local business owners formed the MPBIA. Areas addressed by the MPBIA include street beautification and cleanliness, safety and security, brand building, marketing and promotions, special events, and economic development. They also liaise with the City of Vancouver and other BIAs and build mutually beneficial partnerships with outside organizations.

Mount Pleasant is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood outside downtown dating back to the early 1900s and includes a distinct collection of small businesses, community and arts organizations, and residents from all social and economic backgrounds. The neighbourhood boundaries are False Creek, 16th Avenue, Cambie Street and Clark Drive.