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Here are 20 B.C. summer festivals to catch in 2024

There are a lot of festivals to choose from this summer that cover an extremely wide range of tastes

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Winter ended on March 20. Summer starts on June 20. But summer festival season is already kicking off across B.C.

Such major draws as the Shambhala Music Festival in July have been sold out since mid-September of last year.

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The days of rolling into town, booking a last-minute camping spot and scoring some tickets are over. Anyone planning on attending one of the province’s many fine arts and cultural events without a working plan had better get on it.

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Fortunately, there are a lot of festivals to choose from covering an extremely wide range of tastes. That’s where this list comes in — by month in order by date, here are 20 festivals to check out this season. Unless otherwise noted, events are in Vancouver.


Verboden Festival vancouver
Vancouver buzz band ACTORS plays the Verboden Festival in May. Photo by Shannon Hemmett

May

• May 9-12: Verboden Festival, various venues: What could be more appropriate to bid winter adieu and wait for brighter days than this annual celebration of all things darkwave and brooding? With headline gigs by such luminaries as the Mission U.K., locals Actors and legendary Suicide co-founder Martin Rev.

May 23-26: The 6th Annual Sound of Dragon Festival, various venues: May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month across Canada. For the past six years, the Sound of Dragon Festival has both wound down the month’s festivities and launched summer season early.

• May 24-26: White Rock Jazz & Blues Festival, various venues, White Rock: Three days of jazz stylings with over 15 free performances in the Uptown and Five Corners ‘hoods of White Rock. Highlights include celebrated bluesman Brandon Isaak, who can really wail on acoustic guitar.

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vancouver dragon boat festival Kimmortal
Vancouver Kimmortal performs at the 2024 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival Photo by Sarkastico

June

• June 13-16: 5X Fest, Surrey, various venues: It’s the seventh annual go-round for this showcase of some of the biggest names in South Asian music and art with such signature events as the 5X Blockparty. Where you want to be to get to see the rising stars of the Surrey Indian arts and cultural scene and much more.

• June 14-15: ScotFestBC, Town Centre Park, Coquitlam,: Year 92 for the B.C. Highland Games features the world music festival including the mighty award-winning Simon Fraser University Pop Band, captivating Celtic vocalist Robyn Carrigan, Mariachi Los Dorados and much more.

• June 22-23: Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, Concord Pacific Place and False Creek: The boat races are a rush. But so is the daylong lineup of talent on the TD Main Stage all weekend. Highlights this year include Juno winning pop crew Dear Rouge and Filipinx rapper Kimmortal, among others.

• June 21-30: Vancouver International Jazz Festival, various venues: The biggest event on the annual arts calendar is back with an exciting roster that boasts Grammy-winning acts a rapper Killer Mike to festival regulars Moor Mother and Irreversible Entanglements. Be sure to catch the free Downtown Jazz opening weekend.

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• June 28-30: Laketown Shakedown, Laketown Ranch Music and Recreation Park, Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island: No less a star than Gwen Stefani headlines the 2024 lineup at this multi-day showcase for all things upbeat and funky. Other headliners include hip-hop legend Busta Rhymes.


orville peck victoria Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. Backyard Music Festival
Orville Peck will perform at the Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. Backyard Music Festival in Victoria. Photo by Arturo Holmes /Getty Images

July

• July 4-14: Indian Summer Festival, various venues: Featuring headlining shows from multidisciplinary artist ALOK to electronic act Shabazz Palaces and the one and only vocal phenomenon Ruby Singh.

• July 5-7, Aug. 9-11: Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. Backyard Music Festival, Victoria, Vancouver Island: The answer to the question of what craft beer goes best with music by Orville Peck, Black Pumas, Earl Sweatshirt, Jungle and others will be found at the two weekends of this star-studded concert series.

• July 6, Khatsahlano Street Party, various 4th Ave. locations: The predominant street party in the province, this multistage affair on 4th Avenue features entertainment all day from a who’s who of the local music scene. From legends to brand newcomers, it’s all free.

• July 12-14: Vancouver Island MusicFest, Comox Valley, Vancouver Island: The 30 anniversary features headliners such as As We Speak, featuring several Grammy award-winners Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer with Rakesh Chaurasia, mega-producer Daniel Lanois, roots rocker Lucinda Williams and more.

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• July 19-21: Vancouver International Folk Music Festival, Jericho Beach: Year 47 features 40-plus national, North American and international acts. Among the names, acclaimed comic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, the Wood Brothers and South Africa’s amazing BCUC.

• July 26-28: Mission Folk Music Festival, Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission: With its beautiful mountainside location, this signature Fraser Valley gathering has always presented an eclectic and tasty talent roster. The Devin Cuddy Band and Indigenous vocal duo Piqsiq will be there.

• July 27-28: Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival, various venues, Fort Langley: From singer-songwriter Norine Braun’s rocking tunes to the swinging Razzmajazz Ensemble and soul belter Hayley Wallis, there are loads free events and family-friendly fun to be had.


keith urban sunfest festival bc
Keith Urban is one of the headliners at Sunfest Country Music Festival. Photo by PHOTO Tom Bateman/Times and Tran /PHOTO Tom Bateman/Times and Tran

August

• Aug. 1-4: Sunfest Country Music Festival, Laketown Ranch Music and Recreation Park, Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island: Yet another big event at the very busy Laketown Ranch HQ. This one features a megastar-loaded weekend with Keith Urban, Lee Brice and the Washboard Union in the prime setting.

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• Aug. 2-4: Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival, Kaslo Bay Park, Kaslo: Float on the lake while the performers float on the barge-stage. The selection is always varied with features such as Australia’s the Cat Empire, bass superman Victor Wooten and the Wooten Brothers and locals.

• Aug. 17-20: Salmon Arm Roots & Blues, Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, Salmon Arm: Last year’s fires led to cancellation. Back again this year, this roots-heavy hoedown is headlined by Sarah McLachlan with party makers Five Alarm Funk and Amanda Marshall.


loverboy Barnside Harvest Festival
Loverboy will be performing at Casino New Brunswick on Thursday. Photo: Submitted

September

• Sept. 13-15: Barnside Harvest Festival, Paterson Park, Ladner: Back for another year is this party in the park headlined by classic rockers Loverboy, journeyman crew Sam Roberts Band, The Glorious Sons and a whole lot of great local groups.

• Sept. 13-15: Rifflandia, Matullia Lands at Rock Bay, Victoria: Coming at you with a mix of classic ’90s hip hop à la Ja Rule, dance happy pop from C&C Music Factory and all manner of other genres. This is another sure sellout every year.

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