This past Thursday, I was invited to attend this special Exclusive VIP Party, hosted by Heineken Canada. It has a theme and the hashtag was #LiveLegendary. The invite indicated that Heineken wants us to open our world, be legendary and celebrate some of the most unique views of Toronto.
Quite honestly, I have always been a fan of Heineken beer. I love the package, the branding and most importantly, the taste. A few years back, I was in Amsterdam, Netherlands and took a tour of the Heineken Experience. It was an interactive tour through the beer giant’s history in a former brewery, with a tasting room finale as part of the experience. I had been to many brewery tours and by far, Heineken Experience was my favourite. It’s fun, interactive and have the most advanced technology that makes you remember the history and the evolution of the Heineken beer. I recalled making my own 15 seconds of music video in that building (no joke).
So….I was super excited to attend this Heineken “Legendary” invite-only party and I hope it can recapture some of my great memories back in Amsterdam. As I was reading the invite, the location was 130 Adelaide Street West. To be honest, I have attended so many events and parties but I have not been to an event that is being held at 130 Adelaide Street West. As I goggled it more, it turns out to be a modern, relatively new financial building. I was impressed because I was thinking “How did they convince the building management to let them turn the building into a party scene?”. But more importantly, I was impressed the event planner chose this venue because it’s new and it’s fresh.
MoKenny, my manager was my plus one. Before we headed to the building, I was wondering how would we know where the entrance was? Look no further, as our cab gradually approached the building, you could clearly see the green lights flashing outside the entire building. There was no way anyone would miss the spot. Most week nights, the financial district is usually quite quiet but as the crowd slowly assembled into a long line, the area was popping! You could see pedestrian stopped by & asked the crowd what’s happening inside, they just curious and want to know (to the marketing team, great job in getting people’s attention). There were two long lines, one for general admission (apparently, some lucky peeps got to buy tickets) and there was a VIP line, which of course, you all know how much MoVernie loves Exclusive VIP treatment. Although, we were Exclusive VIP, there was quite a bit of an unusal wait outside. Not sure why, perhaps it took a bit of time to get everyone warmed up with the entry process. Nevertheless, the weather wasn’t cold and my anticipation to get inside overcame the relatively longer wait. So, I was cool with that.
Finally, it was our turn, the moment I told the staff my name, she recognized my name and said “Of course I recognized that name”. It was quite special and I appreciated that gesture. She gave us the Heineken wrist band and a few drinking tickets. Security inspected us and off we entered into the building. I worked in the financial district myself so I have a good picture what a typical financial building looks like. But to my surprise! The organizer did an extreme great job in transforming the entire space into quite a Legendary Heineken Experience. I couldn’t recognize one bit of the original business layout.
The moment we walked into the building, we could hear fast beats of music sound. The lovely Heineken ladies informed us that the famous Swedish DJ Eric Prydz will be spinning music later in the evening. We thought that was cool. Then, as we walked around, we spotted a big square bar counter, you could basically ordered Heineken beer from every angle of the square bar area. If you want a fresh pint of beer, the nice hostess could pour the pint for you in a tall glass. However, that will take longer time. If you don’t want to wait, there were Heineken bottles that you could redeem with your drinking tickets. I think drinking tickets were provided and not open bar, mainly because the organizer didn’t want peeps to drink too much and hope they would drink responsibly. But more importantly, there were general admission peeps which I don’t think the tickets include unlimited beer, therefore, if peeps want to drink more, they can purchase beer at $4 a bottle. $4 a bottle of Heineken, which you and I both know it’s very reasonable priced. Most clubs will charge you double the price at around $8-9, especially its foreign beer.
As we explored the area and scouted around, there was a coat-check area. There was a security central area. And if we want to go to the washroom, we had to take the elevator. The friendly security guard will open the elevator door for you, at times, they would even escort you up to the floor building to access the washroom. We are talking about premium service. How often do you get to go to the washroom with security escorts and taking an elevator? I thought it was cool.
As we entered the central area, there were a number of beautiful ladies wearing green tight dress, welcoming the crowd. The space was quite a good size with an elevated DJ stage and a big TV screen behind it. It’s just like a big indoor EDM platform. This was where the popular Swedish DJ Eric Prydz pumped up the crowd with his beats and tunes! As we walked further into the area, there was a black wooded wall, displaying the hashtag #LiveLegendary and also displaying some of the amazing views Toronto has to offer.
We also saw an elevated VIP area for VIP goers and also another bar counter for peeps to order more Heineken beer. This party won’t be the same without food. Not to worry, the organizer provided a number of food stations at the back to fill your tummies. Food items from around the world, including pork skewers, beef sliders, hot dogs, fish n chips, asian rice paper veggie rolls and much more.
In addition to my love of this venue, I was also very impressed with the crowd. Since I have attended so many events and parties, most of the time, I would see the same group of peeps again and again. The only difference would be different events in different venues. Sometimes, it would be quite boring meeting the same crowd over and over again. Not this time, there was a good representation of different demographics. You could see young professionals, EDM music goers, beer lovers and only a handful of media people. I love that. I think the organizer did a great job with their guest lists to invite a number of crowds to integrate them to generate an amazing Heineken Experience. Most importantly, you could tell that this crowd were well-behaved, stayed classy and not looking to cause troubles, which I greatly appreciated!
As DJ Eric Prydz continued to pump out sick beats, you could see the crowd were excited and were having a great time, dancing the night away and jumping up & down with the sick visual light effects. I bumped into a few good peeps, including Joallore (@ClickFlickca). Make sure you followed this guy. He is a friendly and interactive guy on Twitter and he will chat with you no matter what. ClickFlickca told us that retired TFC player, Dwayne De Rosario (DeRo) and Olympian Donovan Bailey were here near the food station. When I heard the name, Donovan Bailey, yes, I still remembered his historic race from 0-100 in 9.84 seconds (yes, for some reason I just remembered that magic number). And of course, I met DeRo a few times in previous events that I looked forward to chat with them again.
As MoKenny & I walked over, we introduced ourselves to Donovan and chatted with DeRo as well. Donovan was so genuine and down-to-earth. We chatted and talked about his winning race at SkyDome against American Michael Johnson. Donovan still got game with his radiant signature smile. We asked to take a photo with him and without hesitation, he accepted. He even asked DeRo to be in the picture with us.
The evening ended on a good note and I thanked ClickFlick for being such a good sport to inform us that the Sporting Greats were in the building. This evening was definitely LEGENDARY. It brought back lots of good memories of my visit to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. The evening made me felt like I was in Europe. I love the venue, love how well-organized the entire party was run. The crowd size was perfect, not over crowde, unlike many other events hosted by other organizers. This was kept in a reasonable size and keeping it Exclusive VIP.
I look forward to the next Heineken Experience, whether it’s in Toronto or elsewhere, they sure know how to throw a #Legendary party! I received tons of text messages, tweets and instagram messages later in the wee hours from my friends and followers on how envy they were that I had attended this special event! Thank you to the organizer for the kind hospitality and invited me and MoKenny to this event.
It really “Open Our Minds”!
And MoVernie is outta here!
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#LiveLegendary; #Legendary; #HeinekenCanada; Heineken