Wendy is the manager at one of Vancouverís only legal punk clubs, the Cobalt, which has been the cornerstone of the punk and metal communities in Vancouver for almost 10 years. She is a single mom whose maternal instincts have nurtured an entire community of hardcore rockers. She is passionate about her scene and dedicated to giving young bands a chance to play. The Cobalt has been dealing with police, city officials, landlords, and new neighbors in the Downtown Eastside who seem determined to have the place shut down, even though Wendy provides a safe, drug-free environment for rock enthusiasts. Fiercely determined and with a brash sense of humor we watch her tackle everything from excessive noise complaints to police interference to eviction notices. We also see how the Cobalt community fights to try and keep their place of rock worship from being stolen from them. Will Wendy be forced to close and displace the community of devoted metal-heads and punk rockers or will her good efforts to keep the club a safe and controlled place be rewarded?
Malice is a local band booker and promoter originally from NYC, whose illegal venue the Sweatshop was shut down by the city. The Sweatshop, which he ran without the cityís consent for over a year, was a 500 capacity venue, gallery, and skate-park where local bands of all genres would play to sold out audiences. Malice is now jobless and in enormous debt due to his failed endeavors to create a space for bands and fans to have fun. He faces a million dollar lawsuit from his former lease and could eventually be deported because if this. Despite the risks at hand, he brazenly searches for a new venue for local bands to play. Will he be able to legitimize his business or will he be forced to remain on the fringes?
David is an outspoken entrepreneur who owns various artist spaces in the city and has discovered an abandoned theatre in the Downtown Eastside, which he is trying to open as a new venue with Malice. Although some residents fear that building up this area will lead to gentrification and force poor people out, Duprey feels that it will force residents from both ends of the financial spectrum to live amongst each other and make for a more diverse neighborhood. He has to jump through hoops and cut through so much red tape in order to get the venue off the ground, but with a little luck it just might work out. How will he be received in the neighborhood and will the city support his goals?
Justin Gradin is the founder of The Emergency Room, an unofficial venue known internationally for its experimental noise scene. Tired of having nowhere to play with his band the Sex Negatives, Justin and friends set up an amp in an underground parkade and started playing shows. When the shows became popular they moved to a rehearsal studio in a bad part of town and called it the Emergency Room. Due to the lack of fun places in Vancouver, the ER became too high profile, attracting the wrong crowds and eventually the attention of the police. In spite of it all, we watch this group of innovative and provocative young artists try to keep their scene alive by putting on secret shows in abandoned parking lots, store basements, and warehouses always with the risk of having the fun pulled out from underneath them. How will the city react to this burgeoning community of artists and musicians doing things their own way?