Stage presence. Lighting. Set Design. Vocal Range. But most importantly, energy. The connection between a performer and the audience – that’s what’s at the heart of a great live show. Budweiser Stage has been giving artists and fans the opportunity to connect for 25 years at the city’s best outdoor venue, an d they’re gearing up to celebrate all summer long.

The 2019 season is kicking off with a bang – the Strokes will be performing on their only North American stop on May 20 – and will continue all summer and fall with shows including Florence and the Machine, Beck and Cage the Elephant, Iron Maiden and many more.

To celebrate this milestone, Budweiser is hosting an immersive pop-up gallery experience at 950 Queen St W, It Happened Here, featuring hundreds of photographs shot by three legendary photographers, Tom Pandi, Lucia Remedios and David Leyes.

The multi-dimensional visual display takes us back to the very beginning with the venue’s first show, Bryan Adams, in 1995. The gallery’s flow is themed to take you through different eras and journeys: a nostalgic 90’s wall with photos of Bush, The Cranberries, Meatloaf and others, an ode to pop bands including Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, *NYSYNC and Destiny’s Child, classic Canadian performers including Celine Dion and Shania Twain and of course, an entire wall dedicated to Drake and the OVO fest. We especially took note of the highlight on powerhouse female performers including queen Whitney Houston, Stevie Nicks, Rhianna and Emily Haines of Metric.

There are life-sized cut out photographs including a textured life-size snake coming out of Alice Cooper, a headliner room that gives you the feeling of being on stage at the venue, a wall of the Budweiser Stage’s green rooms doors where fans are invited to write messages on to be a part of the venue and many more immersive elements. Hang out in the green room to get a true feel of the artist experience, share your favourite memories of the venue in the speakers corner booth and our favourite, check out the display corner with real set lists including ones from Def Leppard and Outkast.

And of course, what would a celebration of a music venue be without real music? Live Nation and Budweiser have teamed up to offer a week of shows with local artists beginning on April 26. Check out the following:

Friday, April 26, 7-8 pm:  Ruby Waters
Saturday, April 27, 4-5 pm:  Langston Francis
Friday, May 3, 7-8 pm:  The Darcys
Saturday, May 4, 4-5 pm:  The Man Who

It Happened Here sums up a quarter century of magic on stage, offering music fans the best of the venue’s history and an engaging experience highlighting the magic of live shows at Torontonians’ favourite outdoor venue, the Budweiser Stage. Free, It Happened Here is open 7 days a week until May 4. Head here for more details.

*This post was sponsored by Budweiser Stage, however opinions expressed are our own.