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Gettin' jibby with it at Jibfest 9

Ontario-based DJ Trapment inspired a packed dance floor of partiers at the Marble Mountain Lodge during the ninth annual Jibfest, held Feb. 15-17 on Newfoundland's west coast.
Ontario-based DJ Trapment inspired a packed dance floor of partiers at the Marble Mountain Lodge during the ninth annual Jibfest, held Feb. 15-17 on Newfoundland's west coast. - Wendy Rose

Partiers and snow-sports enthusiasts island-wide made their annual pilgrimage to the west coast in mid-February for the ninth Jibfest Weekender.

Held in various locations in Corner Brook, this year’s Jibfest Weekender was on par with the previous eight – a helluva lot of fun.

I’m a longtime Jibfester, having attended almost every Jibfest since its inception in 2011.

It’s my “winter escape” – though the weather gets more wintery the further west you go.

Arriving in Corner Brook on Friday evening after a long car ride, I couldn’t wait for the party to start. A brand new bar, West Gate, had just opened on West Street, so I kicked off the evening with some friends before making the trek up to Broadway, where the Coors Light Block Party had begun.

One $20 bracelet admitted attendees to five bars, with various genres of music erupting from each venue, all conveniently located within a 100-metre radius.

On a tequila-fuelled rampage to have the most fun possible, I hit every bar twice – one loop at the beginning of the night, and a second loop to cap it off.

Newspaper Fashion Show was onstage at Whelan’s Gate when I arrived, opening act Alaba already having finished her set. After dancing to a couple songs in the packed bar, I made my first stop into Inzanity Nightclub (formerly Tall Boys, or Night Sounds).

Artists DJ Carter Snow, Nick Halfyard, Evan Greene and Hype.NL were taking turns in the DJ booth, surrounded by a dozen massive tropical plants, brought across the island by DJ Carter Snow.

My crawl continued at Flynn’s, where local cover band GIRLS were jammin’ out some Marvin Gaye classics.

Two doors down, The Bar Room’s dance floor was filled with bodies gyrating to the musical stylings of Crxssroads, DJ KraZe, DJ SKIFF.

Across the road, YUNG DUMB and Selenium were playing techno and house music. Close your eyes, and you’d picture yourself in an upscale NYC party loft, definitely not The Cave (formerly The Landing).

I bounced between these five bars for hours, sometimes dancing with friends on the dance floor, other times vibing with DJs in their booths. There’s a kind of magic in a Jibfest VIP Pass that just doesn’t exist anywhere else (or at least, a kind of VIP arrogance that I’d never dare to unleash in St. John’s).

Waking up surprisingly not hungover, I opted out of the Marble Mountain mania, instead brunching at Best Coast Café and digging through the Newfoundland Emporium.

I headed back to Marble later Saturday night for the sold-out Jibfest Main Event, featuring award-winning Sudbury DJ Trapment.

Having spent most of my energy on Friday night, plus an alarming amount of money on tequila (and subsequently, honey garlic fingers) I left the party early, knowing first-hand that the dance floor was filled with smiling, laughing Jibfesters, and it would stay that way all night long.

The laughter continued at Marble Mountain on Sunday, at the Laugh It Off Comedy Show, featuring Halifax comedian Dan Hendricken, hosted by Vicky Mullaley and with special guest Christopher Dunn.

Though extreme weather conditions, a minor fender-bender, civic holiday closures and impossible-to-rent rental cars unexpectedly extended my Corner Brook visit, there’s a very good chance that I’ll make the trek again next year, in pursuit of the often-replicated-but-never-duplicated Jibfest Weekender high.

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