Vancouver musician Desirée Dawson plays a ukulele and sings on an outdoor stage.
 | Music

Desiree Dawson at the VMF Pop-up Patio

Music and events seem to have returned to Vancouver this weekend along with another heatwave and smokey skies. Thankfully, both of the latter subsided long enough to enjoy Vancouver Mural Festival’s Pop-up Patio Brunch Club, organized by Public Disco and featuring live music from local artist Desirée Dawson and DJ sets by ra / sol. 

Vancouver musician Desiree Dawson plays a ukulele and sings on an outdoor stage.
Desirée Dawson at the VMF Pop-up Patio, August 15, 2021. Julie Rankin photo.

The VMF Pop-up Patio takes an empty parking lot and imitates a garden oasis. Surrounded by vibrant murals, an assortment of patio tables and sun umbrellas are spread out on top of astro-turf with strings of lights overhead. At one end is a shipping container converted into a bar, at the other, a stage adorned with fresh greenery and flowers.

Local singer-songwriter Desirée Dawson brought her own light to the sunny patio, beginning her set with the beautiful words, “What I have is all I need, all I need is all I have.” Ukulele in hand, Dawson performed several original songs for the crowd including “Mountain Tops”, a track from her new EP, Meet You at the Light which she released this past Friday, August 13. Dawson put her own spin on The Supremes, “Can’t Hurry Love”, noting she grew up listening to idols like Diana Ross and the Supremes and Tracy Chapman.

Before leaving the stage, Dawson gathered the crowd into a sing-along, a surreal experience after over a year and half with little to no live music and the notable absence of the sense of community that it brings with it. After Dawson sang the first round of “This Little Light of Mine”, the crowd slowly gathered the courage to sing along. Gaining in conviction and volume with each verse, they rose to their feet and ended the popular gospel song swaying and clapping along. 

Building on the summer patio vibes, Vancouver-based DJ ra / sol provided pre- and post-show DJ sets as the crowd chatted and enjoyed the remainder of the event. A space in front of the stage was reserved as a dance floor and several audience members couldn’t resist the temptation for some early afternoon dancing. 

The VMF Pop-up Patio will be hosting more live music and events until August 22.

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Julie Rankin

Julie is a writer and front end developer living in Vancouver, BC.
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