Article by Erin Lebar, The Leaf News
On a steamy weekday evening in early August, dozens of music fans lined up outside of the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, waiting to enter the Winnipeg edition of the Aurora Illumination concert series, one of 19 similar music events being held across Canada this summer.
Tonight’s show is all about EDM —three DJs are set to take the stage, wrapping up with Jauz, a Los Angeles-based producer who has racked up tens of millions of streams on Spotify.
Organizers expect the room to hit capacity, around 1,100 people, all of whom paid nothing for their ticket, but rather applied to win passes on the Aurora Illumination website.
Fishnet stockings, booty shorts, glitter and neon are in no short supply as guests file in, met at the door with a glowing bracelet they later find out changes colour to the beat of the music — it’s the first piece of free merchandise they receive, and certainly not the last.
A table packed with Aurora-branded items waits just inside the interior doors; Aurora water bottles, tote bags, T-shirts, lanyards, all of which are free to take if a name and email address is provided to the company. Custom Aurora “aura” photographs, also free, are taken by crew members using tablets that instantly send the image both to the individual’s inbox and to one of several TVs in the area, and another interactive photo area it set up inside the ballroom.