Looking Back on 2018 at Budweiser Gardens!
Budweiser Gardens had such an exciting 2018 full of events that the year seemed to go by in the blink of an eye! What’s better than reflecting on the past year and realizing you’ve seen some of your favorite artists in an amazing venue? We are so proud knowing that we were able to help create memories for so many of our patrons.
In case you need a little refresher on all that happened in 2018 let me break it down for you…
The London Knights continued to bring large and enthusiastic crowds to the building for each home game. Towards the end of the season the Knights had an impressive 6 game winning streak and finished in fifth place in the Western Conference. The team lost a hard-fought battle to the Owen Sound Attack in the 2018 playoffs after four games with each game ending by a difference of one goal and two of them going to overtime. The London Knights vs. Sudbury Wolves hockey games on February 10th on November 9th were promoted as a ‘Green Game’ and fans had the opportunity to ride the LTC bus down to the game for free as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. Spectra also partnered with ReForest London so that each save made in the game resulted in a tree being planted, an initiative that was matched by Downton London which resulted in 44 trees being planted.
The London Lightning had another successful year with back-to-back championships for the second time in franchise history during the 2018 playoffs. The Lightning had an epic season finishing first in the Central division, as well as having the highest attendance in the league! November 15th kicked off the 2018-2019 and we are looking forward to watch the Lightning continue to grow!
This year’s fan-favourites included; Rod Stewart, Kevin Hart, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul tour, Keith Urban, The Thank You Canada Tour each with sold out performances. The second annual Local Artisans Performers Showcase took place on November 25th which showcased over 100 local vendors and their hand made products, resulting in $9,000 being donated to ChildCan and Children Aid Society. We continued our roster of community events this year with The Cocktail Show, Forest City Beer Fest, Taco Fest and the return of our annual London Tequila Expo. Each of these events gave patrons the opportunity to enjoy the entertainment with friends, and try a variety of samples and offerings from different businesses including many different food and beverage options!
One of the biggest highlights of the year was announcing that London will be hosting The 2019 Juno Awards along with all JUNO Week festivities, March 11th – March 17, 2019. We are honored that our venue was chosen to host the 48TH Annual JUNO Awards that will be broadcast live on CBC on March 17th, 2019, including a live performance from Londoners, Loud Luxury. It was also announced that beginning January 29th, 2018 and continuing through to the awards show, key music venues including; Budweiser Gardens, will donate one dollar from every concert ticket sold to MusiCounts which is Canada’s music education charity associated with CARAS (The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences). On November 22nd it was announced that as of that date over $100,000 has been donated to MusiCounts between the key music venues in London!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to experience the behind the scenes atmosphere of the entertainment industry? Well Bud’s Backstage Experience (BBE) allows you to do just that for charity! This past June marked our fourth BBE event and it was a sold out success! Guests had the opportunity to tour dressing rooms, eat at a beautiful buffet of items previously requested by past artists and listen to guest speaker Allan Reid – president and CEO of the JUNO’s, CARA’s and MusiCounts. BBE was first held in June 2015 and has since raised over $38,000 for local charities! A we gear up for the 2019 JUNO awards, Budweiser Gardens thought it would be appropriate to have funds from this year’s event go to MusiCounts, which is a music education charity that strives to put musical instruments into the hands of children who need them most.
The Broadway in London series boasted an impressive lineup with a show for every interest! Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone™ In Concert kicked off the Broadway in London run of 2019 follow by Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, STOMP, The Sound of Music, and Cirque Musica Holiday presents WONDERLAND.
Creating a great experience for our customers, sponsors, and partners is always a top priority for The Spectra Venue Management staff at Budweiser Gardens and this past year gave us many opportunities to take pride in our hard work. Thank you to our partners and the community of London and Southwestern Ontario for the continued support and an amazing 2018! We are looking forward to another exciting year and excited to see you at one of our events in 2019! Want to stay up to do date on the latest show announcements, promotions, and special offers? Sign up for our BudInsider program to receive the latest notifications! Click HERE to sign up now.
See you next year!
Photos by Bill Woodcock