YOUR GUIDE TO THE HOTTEST FESTIVALS IN BC AND ALBERTA
Vancouver Jazz Fest, June 20th – July 1st
If you didn’t think ‘jazzercise’ was for you, reconsider. This year’s line-up is hot; don’t miss Montreal’s Yamantaka//Sonic Titan at Fortune Sound Club for their avant-garde, high-energy art rock. If free is your thing, get down to Granville Island for the Plimley/Babin/Poole experience for some real time, improvisational jackin’ jazz.
Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 18th – 20th
Dust off those Birkenstocks and head down to Jericho Beach for a stunning view of our fair city and some world-class music! Prepare to get crooned by the iconic Joan Baez, gracing us with her presence. Also make sure to check out homegrown Fish and Bird, sure to stun you with their intimate alt-folk melodies. Much to see.
Tall Tree Music Festival, June 27th – 29th
Rave under a mountain at this non-profit, pro-community festival. Good times are sure to ensue when Monolithium takes the stage – expect deep, dark dance floor techno. Check out Pickwick for your dose of soulful, off-kilter indie. But no matter what, don’t miss Philthkids for their eclectic take on booty bass, and footwork techno. Bounce.
Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Aug. 15th – 17th
What’s roots if not tempered with a bit of blues? You’ll definitely get a dose of southern comfort when Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory takes the stage with his definitive brand of hard-hitting acoustic blues. Tanika Charles & The Wonderfuls are sure to lift your mood with a powerful vocal range and that irreplaceable old school, jazzy cool charisma.
Keloha, July 11th – 13th
Soak up some sunshine in Kelowna at this feel-good music festival. The Naked and Famous are headlining and will be sure to get you grooving with their infectious dance floor, summer-anthems. Nothing but good vibes when The Funk Hunters take the stage, checking you with everything from funky glitch-hop to jazzy jams, the party won’t stop! Stay posted.
Squamish Valley Music Festival, Aug. 8th – 10th
Squamish – home to some breathtaking British Columbian views and this festival hard-hitter. Where do we begin? First off Bruno Mars is out to melt your ears with his smooth vocals. Arcade Fire will set your hearts ablaze with their orchestral indie rock. Nas is going to break it down when he performs his pivotal album Illmatic, and Austra will sooth ‘n’ groove with their haunting electro-synth anthems. Wow.
Shambhala, Aug. 8th – 11th
Do you even rave, bro? It’s almost time for your annual get down. Sprit Hood, check. Water bottle, check. Okay time for that PK Sound, bass for your face with Bassnectar! Kaminada’s world-beat galaxy-step is sure set your feet stirring. Emancipator for some of that forest-charm and who? Moby – DJ set? Bring it. At Shambhala, anything could happen.
Basscoast, Aug. 1st – 4th
West Coast culture is made up of a lot of things, but one that has really skyrocketed is bass music – from subs to dubs, catch it all at this epic festival. Feel the atmosphere with Kline & Michael Red, spice things up with El Papa Chango’s Latin, hip hop vibe, dial into Dan Solo and step your shit to Daega Sound. So much good.
Bushwacked Music and Arts Festival, June 26th – 30th
Find yourself at this jam-packed, four-night, five-day festival in sunny and warm Beaverdell, BC! Get your dancing butt out for Woodhead’s hip house and Neighbour‘s futuristic take on the dancefloor. You’ll wanna bliss out to MetaphOracle’s sunny bass lines and get down to the heavy hittin’ Self Evident. Check it!
Golden West Music Fest, Aug. 1st – 3rd near Ardmore, AB
All-independent-everything is how Golden West Music Fest likes to keep it. You can expect everything from laid-back musical acts like The AwesomeHots’ unique blend of nostalgic parlour-folk to heavier acts like Black Thunder’s heavy stoner prog rock riffs. Don’t miss The Lad Mag’s grungy art-pop whose beachy feel will catch you off guard.
Astral Harvest, July 3rd – 6th near Driftpile, AB
With workshops during the day and a PK Sound augmented electronic dance party by night, head to Astral Harvest. Prepare for a realm of pure vibration when Tipper takes the stage. Kalya Scintilla’s enchanting ethno-crunk will make your feet feel like they came home. Much to see and not to be missed!
Pemberton Music Festival, July 18th – 20th, Pemberton, BC
The Pemberton Music Festival is back with a vengeance. Headlining is the potent Nine Inch Nails. No doubt the blunts will roll with the infamous Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Outkast. Cult classic Modest mouse for vigorous head-nodding & XXYYXX for abstract future-garage. So. Damn. Much.
Motion Notion, July 24th – 28th, Golden, BC
Crave the rave? Head over to the Rockies for a beautiful weekend at Motion Notion. Get to know yourself with Bluetech’s ambient sonic geometries or get to know your neighbour with Grouch’s playful, driving psy-dub. Watch out for LongWalkShortDock’s eccentric, high-octane electro & Knight Riderz future booty-bass quaking sounds. Rounding things out, Dubconscious keeps the dancehall jungalism alive.
The Field Gathering, Aug. 15th – 17th, Slocan Valley, BC
If you consider getting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed a favoured pastime of yours, you may want to consider this intimate gathering at the White Crow Farm; it’s pretty much definitive of the term ‘grassroots.’ Attendees will enjoy swaying to crooning vocals over folky riffs by Tarran The Tailor and dancing late into the country night to dancehall-inspired beats by Sweet Anomaly. Stay posted.
Victoria Ska Fest, July 1st – 5th
Head to our fair capital for this skankin’ fest! Kicking off the festival with some dub plate, rasta action is Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire; as well as the dynamic violinist Kytami. Watch out for Lynval Golding of The Specials – he might just get together with festival favorite The Aggrolites for a jam. Ending the festival with none other than Shaggy, setting the mood with his bombastic dancehall and lyrical talents. Big!
Luminosity Gathering, July 11th – 13th
Manifest a ferry ride for yourself and find yourself in Vancouver Island for this intimate westcoast gathering. Get down to some serious jams with Nico Luminous and get lost in Whitebear’s sonic jungle. Tor will be laying down some heavy bass charms and Commodity is nothing less – complex tribal rhythms to seduce. Winning.
By Maryam Noorazi
Photo: Oliver Gosselin