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Summer is the season for open air music. From the obscure (think up-and-coming) to the famous, to the totally unexpected (yodeling), 2017 will see over 48 festivals held across British Columbia. With a range of acts from pop to folk, there's something for everyone. If you've never laid out a blanket and leaned back under an evening sky to take in an outdoor concert, here's everything you need to know about the festivals in B.C. 

Last updated: 3/3/17

Festival Survival Kit

Check festival websites to help plan what to pack. Do you need to bring lawn chairs and blankets? Is onsite camping available or will you be staying in a hotel close by? These questions will largely dictate what you need to pack. Otherwise, here are the essential items you need to survive an outdoor festival: 

960 Festival Gear SurviveMy Passion Media
1. Portable power stick - charge it up to store power which you can then transfer to your phone or tablet.
2. Waterbottle - stay hydrated!
3. Dry shampoo - for the days the shower line up is just too long.
4. Ear plugs - remember, tent walls aren't really walls.
5. Baby wipes - for sticky hands, washing your face, porta-potties and more.
6. Comfortable footwear - that can survive rain or shine.
7. Hooded poncho - surprisingly more effective than a pricey waterproof  windbreaker.
8. Sport sunscreen - resistant to water and sweat, plus spray application means no greasy hands.
9. Bandana - an all purpose cloth, headband and handy for dusty conditions.
10. Pocket Ashtray



Pro Tips

Music bc

  • Best packing strategy: "dream for sunshine but pack for rain."
  • Triple check that you've packed the tickets/passes.
  • If you just bought a new tent, upon arrival or after dark is not the best time to learn how to construct it. Be sure to set it up at home at least once. 
  • With thousands of people milling about, establish a group meeting point that is easy to find. 
  • Text messaging friends at the festival? Send affirmative messages such as, "Let's meet at noon at food truck XYZ" rather than, "Where are you?" 
  • Imagine the hundreds of items that end up at lost-and-found. Put your contact information on anything you'd hate to lose. This is especially helpful if you've lost your phone and the battery has died. Trust us, they all look similar when they can't simply be turned on.  

2017 Quick Guide: What's On When?

June: Bandfest in Ladner 3 | Ska Fest 14 | Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival 16 | Penticton Elvis Festival 22 | TD Vancouver International JazzFest 22  | TD Victoria International JazzFest 23 | Tall Tree Music Festival 23 | Midsummer Music Festival 30

July: FVDED in the Park 7 | Phillips Backyard Weekender 7 | Khatsahlano! Music & Art Festival 8 | Vancouver Island MusicFest 14 | Vancouver Folk Music Festival 14 | Armstrong Metalfest 14 | Chemainus Bluegrass Festival 15 | Music by the Sea 20 | Islands Folk Festival 21 | Rock The Shores 21 | Mission Folk Music Festival 21 | Bella Coola Music Festival 22 | Kispiox Valley Music Festival 28

August: Hornby Island Festival 3 | Sunfest Country Music Festival 3 | Merritt Rockin’ River Festival 3 | Artswells 4 | Kaslo Jazz Summer Music Festival 4 | Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival 5 | Shambhala Music Festival 11 | Burnaby Blues Festival 12 | Robson Valley Music Festival 11 | Wapiti Music Festival 11 | Invermere MusicFest 18 | Edge of the World 18 |  | Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival 18 | Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival 18 | Music on the Mountain 18 | Otalith Music Festival 18 | Motion Notion 24

September: Vancouver Island Blues Bash 2 | Sunshine Music Festival 2 |Barkerville Cowboy & Drover Jubilee 8 | Rifflandia 14 | Annual Pender Harbour Jazz Festival 15


Vancouver Island

Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival

Location: Coombs Rodeo Grounds, Coombs
DateJuly 29-31, 2016 (2017 TBD)

About: Come out and enjoy some of the best bluegrass performances you’ve ever experienced.

Chemainus Bluegrass Festival

Location: Wheelhouse Park, Chemainus
DateJuly 15-16, 2017

About: Bring your lawn chairs and get comfortable in Wheelhouse Park, downtown Chemainus, for a great musical event. Many different bands will be performing over the two-day event.


Hornby Festival

Hornby FestivalJennifer Armstrong Photography

LocationMultiple Venues, Hornby Island
DateAugust 3-12, 2017

About: Established in 1982, the Hornby Festival has grown into a 10-day event featuring musicians from across Canada. The event includes classical, jazz, world beat and traditional genres of music, modern dance, children’s programming, theatre and spoken word.

Islands Folk Festival

PAUL PIGAT aka COUSIN HARLEYIsland Folk Festival

Location: Providence Farm, Duncan
DateJuly 21-23, 2017

About: Hosted by the Cowichan Folk Guild, experience three days of culturally diverse music and top artists from around the world.

Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival

Location: Meadowood Community Park, Qualicum Beach
Date: NO 2017 FESTIVAL

About: Bluegrass bands, workshops, Sunday morning gospel, food, crafts, souvenirs, entertainment for children, camping – what more could you want?


Music by the Sea

Music by the Sea in BamfieldMusic by the Sea in Bamfield

Location: Bamfield
Date: July 20-30, 2017

About: How far would you go for rest, recreation, and a fabulous music experience?  How about all the way to Bamfield B.C., a village where the tourists fly in to fish and scientists examine marine life at the Marine Sciences Centre. July 20 – 30th will see 10 concerts performed by the 2 dozen excellent professional artists – singing classical and show tunes, playing chamber music and recital pieces, and getting down for sophisticated jazz – in the intimate Rix Centre.  Executive Artistic Director & Founder Christopher Donison. Be warned: accommodation and amenities are limited.  You’ve heard about it – this year it’s time to come.


Otalith Music Festival

Otalith Music FestivalChris Pouget

Location: Ucluelet
Date: August 18-19, 2017

About: Touted as one of the most intimate music festivals in the world, Otalith will be held in Ucluelet both days this year and feature a variety of artists on a stage at the edge of the world. There is camping available across the road, to keep you close to the action.

Phillips Backyard Weekender

Phillips Backyard WeekenderPhillips Backyard Weekender

Location: Phillips Brewery, Victoria
Date: July 7-9, 2017 

About: Party with 3,000 of your closest friends at the Phillips Backyard Weekender – a 19+ licensed event in the very awesome and large Phillips Backyard. Disguised as a brewery parking lot by day, the Phillips Backyard magically transforms into an outdoor music super-party for three unforgettable nights. Set against the backdrop of our beloved local craft brewery in the open air of downtown Victoria's communal backyard, The Phillips Backyard Weekender is a summer highlight not to be missed. Previous performers include Taleb Kweli, Charles Bradley, Dan Mangan, and many more.




Location: Various locations throughout Victoria
Date: September 14-17, 2017

About: This September 14-17, the tenth-annual Rifflandia Festival will transform the city of Victoria, featuring a truly diverse line-up of artists across numerous stages, all within walking distance in the city's beautiful and historic downtown core. Previous performers include The Flaming Lips, Macklemore, Modest Mouse, Girl Talk, Death Cab For Cutie and Mother Mother. Join us for 4 days of music, food, art and fun! 


Rock The Shores

Rock The Shores festival colwood bcVeronica Bonderud

Location: Colwood
DateJuly 21-23, 2017

About: This July 21-23, the biggest rock event of the summer on Vancouver Island returns to Colwood, BC with Rock The Shores. Taking place on West Shore Parks and Rec’s lower fields, the event features world-class talent in a premium festival setting. Past festival performers include The Black Keys, Weezer, The Tragically Hip, City and Colour, and The Sheepdogs.

Rock the Woods

Location: Cowichan Valley
Date: July 21-24, 2016 (2017 - ON HIATUS)

About: Rock of the Woods Music Festival is a celebration of community spirit and youthful creativity. It showcases musical talent, both celebrated and little known, local and global. The festival is located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley located on Vancouver Island, B.C. 


Sunfest Country Music Festival

Sunfest Country Music FestivalSunfest Country Music Festival

Location: Laketown Ranch (Cowichan Valley)
Date: August 3-6, 2017 

About: Sunfest is B.C.'s premiere country music festival, boasting Nashville's top talent. This summer features performances by Toby Keith, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Brett Kissel, Chris Janson, Tom Hicks, Corb Lund and many more. Moving to a brand new state-of-the-art festival site at Laketown Ranch, Sunfest looks to curate the best large-scale event experience in Western Canada. Limited tickets available. It's time you went a little more country this summer!


Tall Tree Music Festival

Tall Tree FestivalHeather Dubya

Location: Browns Mountain, Port Renfrew
DateJuly 23-26, 2017

About: The Tall Tree Music Festival is a celebration of community spirit, the environment and artistic creativity. The festival showcases world-class talent from folk rock to electronic music.

TD Victoria International JazzFest

Location: Centennial Square, Victoria
Date: June 23 - July 2, 2017

About: JazzFest has grown into a 10-day event featuring all genres of jazz, blues and worldbeat music from more than 300 musicians. Thousands of music lovers from Victoria, Vancouver Island and around the world attend this event.

Vancouver Island Blues Bash

Location: Various locations across Victoria
DateSeptember 2-4, 2017

About: Come out to the best Labour Day weekend bash to celebrate blues and R&B music, with free afternoon performances and ticketed evening performances.

Vancouver Island MusicFest

Location: Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, Courtenay
DateJuly 14-16, 2017

Vancouver Island MusicfestJim Hegan

About: Come and check out three days and nights of roots and world music from across Canada and around the world. Six stages, with over 75 concerts and workshops, onsite riverside camping, kids activities, eco-education areas, workshops, crafts, food and so much more. 

Ska Fest

Location: Victoria, multiple venues
DateJune 14 - 18, 2017
WebsiteClick here

About: Over 30 artists will perform in Victoria's Inner Harbour and venues around the city. 


Sunshine Coast & Sea-to-Sky

Pender Harbour Jazz Festival

Location: Madeira Park, Pender Harbour
Date: September 15-17, 2017

About: World-class musicians will have listeners rocking out to jazz in different styles, from Afro-Cuban to bebop to swing. Most of the events are free, and all but one is accessible by water.

Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival

Location: Various locations around Gibsons
Date: June 16-18, 2017

About: The Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival is presented by the Sunshine Coast Jazz & Entertainment Society and the line up offers something for everyone. The event venues are located throughout the Sunshine Coast.

Pemberton Music Festival

PembertonJorge Alvarez via Pemberton Music Festival Flickr

Location:  1835 Hwy 99, Pemberton

About: It’s a four-day experience you’ll never forget! This celebration of music, art, food and dancing is unlike any other, set in the picturesque town of Pemberton. Shuttle transportation is available between hotels and the venue, or you can pitch a tent.

Squamish Valley Music Festival

Squamish Valley Music FestivalSquamish Valley Music Festival

Location: Logger Sports Ground and Hendrickson Fields, Squamish

About: This three-day music festival is set amongst the forests and mountains, featuring multiple stages of the best electronic, indie and rock music.

Sunshine Music Festival

AlberniSunshine Music Festival

Location: Palm Beach, Powell River
Date: September 2-3, 2017

About: Sunshine Music Festival attracts world class entertainers from Canada and across the globe to its stage. This short (but sweet) two day festival is held at Palm Beach Park, perched on Powell River's scenic waterfront. This year celebrates the 34th festival, making it one of British Columbia's longest running. Come out and enjoy musical performances, shop artisan wares at the craft market, and enjoy specialties and unique flavors from local vendors. 

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Whistler

Location: Whistler Olympic Plaza, Whistler
DateJuly 1-2, 2017

About: Bring a chair or blanket and prepare to be amazed at the sound of a full orchestra playing under the stars.


Metro Vancouver

Bandfest in Ladner

Location: Memorial Park, Ladner
DateJune 3-4, 2017

About: The audience will have a chance to enjoy concert music from 19 different bands – from concert marches to big band tunes, folk music, ballads, band interpretations and vocal selections.

Burnaby Blues Festival

Location: Deer Lake Park
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2017

About: Burnaby Blues Festival is an annual summer event full of live performances in a picturesque, family-friendly environment. The lineup features an eclectic mix of local and international artists. 


FVDED in the Park

FVDED in the ParkFVDED in the Park

Location: Holland Park, Surrey
Dates: July 7-8, 2017 

About: While only in its third year, FVDED in the Park has already proved to be one of Canada’s most significant emerging urban music festivals. A whopping 28,000 fans attended in 2015 making it the largest outdoor music event in Metro Vancouver. This year promises to generate a lot of buzz, featuring over 30 world-renowned artists across three stages. Find the full artist line up here


Khatsahlano! Music & Art Festival


Location: West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Date: July 8, 2017, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

About: The Khatsahlano! Music & Art Festival is Vancouver’s largest, free outdoor music festival. Featuring more than 50 of Vancouver’s top musical performers across eight stages, plus local artisans, street performers and other activities, this 10-block street fair is the place to be on July 8th.

Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival

Location: Maple Ridge Fairgrounds
Date: August 5-6, 2017 

About: This year marks the festival's 17th year of celebrating all things Reggae, Calypso, Salsa and Soca. Two large stages will host continuous music performed by over 100 entertainers. Shop the market which will feature over 60 artisans and sample Caribbean flavours from a variety of food vendors. Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival is a family-friendly event and expects to welcome up to 18,000 festival-goers over the two days. 


Mission Folk Music Festival

Location: Fraser River Heritage Park
Date: July 21-23, 2017 

About: The Mission Folk Music Festival is a popular event attracting some 10,000 festival-goers each year. Bring a lawn chair and stake out a spot on the lawn to take in this showcase of talented folk music performers. Onsite camping is available and requires a pass. 


TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Location: Various venues around Vancouver
DatesJune 22 - July 2, 2017
WebsiteClick here

About: Despite many music festivals across B.C., this one stands out for its original and bold programming. The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival has been called “North America's most comprehensive and consistently rewarding jazz showcase” and “has set the standard for excellence, creativity and positive energy.” Put on by the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, the festival is a massive event that draws well over half a million people to its 35 indoor and outdoor stages.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Location: Jericho Beach Park Vancouver
DateJuly 14-16, 2017

About: Over 60 Canadian and international artists will perform traditional and contemporary folk, world and roots music across many stages at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. There’s also a Little Folks Village with crafts and workshops for kids, an artisan market and food vendors.


Northern Interior & Beyond


ArtswellsMary Matheson

Location: Wells
Date: August 4-7, 2017

Artswells is a 4-day outdoor and indoor event showcasing community, local flavors, arts, culture and outdoor recreation.  Dating back to the 1930s, Wells has a rich legacy of musical acts traveling from across the country to perform in its community hall. This year 12 stages will host over 100 musical acts. From folk to hip-hop to electronic, there's something for everyone. Plus, there are over 20 different workshops where attendees can learn everything from Ukranian dance to clowning! 

Barkerville Cowboy & Drover Jubilee

Location: Barkerville
DateSept. 8-10, 2017

About: Come out and celebrate all of the rich western heritage that BC has to offer, with three musical venues, a poetry tent, singing competition and so much more!

Bella Coola Music Festival

Bella Coola Music FestivalMichael Wigle

Location: Bella Coola Fair Grounds, Bella Coola
DateJuly 22-23, 2017

About: The diverse line up of music at the Bella Coola Music Festival will be sure to attract music lovers from all walks of life. Come out to enjoy roots, rock, world, blues, folk and more, performed by award-winning artists from across Canada.

Edge of the World

edge of the world concert haida gwaii festivalJason Shafto/Full Moon PhotoLocation: Tlell Fall Fairgrounds, Haida Gwaii
Date: August 11-13, 2017

About: A festival unlike any other, Edge of the World takes place at B.C.'s lands' end. Aptly named isn't it? Apart from its unique location, concert attendees love the mix of headliners and talented local acts. Some highlights that you likely won't see at any other festivals in B.C. include a lantern parade and performance by Haida Dancers who traditionally open and close the festival. 

Kispiox Valley Music Festival

Elizabeth Larsen PhotographyElizabeth Larsen Photography

Location: Kispiox Valley Road, Hazelton 
DateJuly 28-30, 2017

About: The Kispiox Valley Music Festival is one of the gems of the festival circuit in BC, offering an eclectic mix of music from artists across Canada and beyond.  This family friendly festival is situated along the picturesque Kispiox River, with both indoor and outdoor stages, including a great Kid's Area.  There is on site camping, as well as food vendors and a lively marketplace.  Great people, music and hospitality!

Midsummer Music Festival

Location: Smithers
Date: June 30 - July 2, 2017

About: the Midsummer Music Festival is a family-friendly event held each year in the Bulkley Valley. The stage will welcome an eclectic mix of performers from headliners to local and regional talent. The three day festival also offers a host of workshops, jam zones, food and craft vendors, and new this year, a 'bliss zone' for yoga lovers. 

Music on the Mountain

music on the mountain festivalFreedom Road Portraits

Location: Murray Ridge, Fort St. James
Date: August 18-20, 2017

About: Music on the Mountain started in 2010 with a vision carried out by a handful of dedicated, music-loving individuals. This year's line up will see over 30 musical performances on four stages over three days. Not only is M.O.M. a laid-back festival with something for everyone, priced at $60 for passes and camping, it's also great value. Bring the entire family! There's never been a better time to explore historic Fort St. James. 

Robson Valley Music Festival

Robson Valley Music FestivalRobson Valley Music Festival

Location: Raush Valley, Dunster (35-km southeast of McBride)
DateAugust 11-13, 2017

About: The wickedest lil' roots festival in B.C.!  Artists from all over B.C. Canada and the World come together for 3 days of amazing. This is a family-friendly event with camping onsite, food vendors, a colorful and bustling marketplace,  kids’ zone and stage, visual arts, workshops and over 40 musical performances. Situated on the banks of the Fraser River nestled in the Cariboo and Rockie Mountains, the surroundings are breathtaking. Robson Valley + Music and Arts Festival = Heaven. 


Interior B.C.


Armstrong Metalfest

Location: Armstrong
Date: July 14-15, 2017

About: In the heart of British Columbia, Canada. Featuring more than 30 local and international musicians together at the Hassen Arena in the small town of Armstrong.

Country Fest

Location: Sun Peaks Resort
DateJuly 1-3, 2016 (2017 TBD)

About: In the heart of country, celebrate Western culture with honky tonk activities and live entertainment. Shows take place in the Sun Peaks Village and the festival coincides with the 9th Annual Mountain of Beer & Chili Cook-Off. 

Invermere MusicFest

Location: Lake Windermere, Invermere
DateAugust 18-19, 2017

About: Set on the shore of Lake Windermere, the Invermere MusicFest promises to be a memorable, entertaining and edgy musical experience. Bring your own seating and blankets, but there will be food and refreshments available for purchase.

Kaslo Jazz Summer Music Festival

Location: Kootenay Lake, Kaslo
Date: August 4-6, 2017

About: Come out and enjoy the beautiful scenery and great musicians at the Kaslo Jazz Summer Music Festival. The floating stage sits just offshore from a little sandy beach on Kootenay Lake, and festival goers can swim around the stage or get groovy on the beach. With great music, food and refreshments, it’s a wonderful way to spend your August long weekend.

Merritt Rockin’ River Festival

Rockin’ River Music FestivalRockin’ River Music Festival

Location: Merritt
Date: August 3-6, 2017

About: The Merritt Rockin’ River Fest features acres of camping facilities located within the grounds of what is arguably the premier outdoor music festival site in the country. This fest, which is all about living life in the moment and where everyone is a friend, is held over four days and features three stages and more than 20 artists performing throughout the event. Children 12 and under are free.

Motion Notion

Location: Golden
Date: August 24-28, 2017 

About: Motion Notion Festival is an exploration of electronic music, art, nature, and the infinite in the heart of Rocky Mountains near Golden B.C. Motion Notion has always been something off the beaten path and a thing of discovery and amazement for all. Welcome to freedom and growth!

Penticton Elvis Festival

Location: Okanagan Lake Park and Penticton Convention Centre, Penticton
Date: June 22 - 25, 2017

About: Elvis fans come from far and wide to pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.


Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival

Ponderosa Arts & Music FestivalPonderosa Arts & Music Festival

Location: Kettle River Road East, Rock Creek
DateAugust 18-20, 2017

About: Independent, affordable and fresh – all words used to describe the Ponderosa Arts & Music Festival. The three-day pass include music all weekend on two different stages; camping in the pristine setting of Rock Creek with access to swimming, floating or sitting in the Kettle River; hot showers; fresh (free) drinking water; a variety of different food trucks for all tastes; artist vendors for a local shopping experience and a mini farmers market.


The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival

Location: Salmon Arm
DateAugust 18-20, 2017

About: The Roots & Blues Festival is well known for its eclectic line up of musical talent. The event also features a family fun zone and free admission for kids under 12 years old.

Shambhala Music Festival


Location: Salmo River Ranch, Salmo
DateAugust 11-14, 2017

About: An electronic music event, featuring the world’s best electronic DJs and renowned visual technology – all on six stages. Workshops, food, fashion and other entertainment round out the festival. 

Starbelly Jam Music Festival

StarbellyLouis Bockner

Location: Crawford Bay (Kootenay Lake)
Date: July 21-23, 2017

About: The music performances are eclectic, including funk, world music, rock, hip-hop, reggae, blues, bluegrass, folk and other acts that might be a little harder to define. The event also features entertainment and activities for kids, onsite food, craft fair, free workshops, roaming jugglers, clowns and more.

Wapiti Music Festival

Wapiti Music FestivalRob Brazeau

Location: Fernie
Date: August 11-12, 2017

About: Wapiti is a fresh Canadian indie music experience. Featuring veteran and up-and-coming performers, the two day festival attracts fans and bands from across the country. Come dance and dine the weekend away in riverside Annex Park.