Unbuckled was an immersive country picnic

The enthusiastic female voice on the microphone, commentating on the events, could be heard from a distance. As I walked towards the Brockton Baseball Diamond in Stanley Park, I could see the smoke from the BBQ. The energy of Unbuckled was so vibrant I got a contact high before I stepped through the entrance. Unbuckled is a new, annual social event featuring music and outdoor games that heavily embraces the country lifestyle. Organized by Wet Ape, this was an engaging, immersive experience with casual sporting competitions, country music, and barbecued food for all.

The event embodied the world of country by affecting the senses of sight, sound, and taste. Brockton was completely transformed aesthetically. From the presence of hay, wooden stands, barrels, and other objects reflecting a farming and country lifestyle, the organizers seemed to pay much attention to detail.

People were encouraged to contribute as much as possible to the immersive experience of being country by dawning full country attire. In terms of sound, apart from the interesting live performances, country music could be consistently heard in the background. The Ranchman’s grill and Tippler’s Saloon controlled taste with their respective country food specialties and beverages.

Unbuckled thrived on the interactions between people as they shared an experience and had fun embodying their country characters.

The interactions between strangers that I witnessed as well as the people I came in contact with proved that events like Unbuckled are great ways to make connections in Vancouver, something that can be daunting and difficult for many. In playing the country characters, people seemed to let go of their defences and embraced the event for what it was — an interesting, fun way for a group of people to spend their Saturday.