If you’re a music lover and are looking to book your next vacation, look no further than the following summer music festivals in BC’s beautiful mountain destinations.
For fans and followers of live performances and shows, there’s no denying that Western Canada provides an unparalleled setting for some of the summer’s best music festivals. While Shambhala, Rifflandia, and Pemberton are world-famous for hosting award-winning international musicians (and providing a rowdy party atmosphere), those high energy events can be pricey, and may not be for everyone.
Thankfully, there are also plenty of summer music festivals hosted across British Columbia that offer an array of dynamic events to suit all types of musical tastes. Whether you prefer listening to the soothing notes of jazz or country, rocking out to local alternative bands, or dancing wildly to electronic music, check out these fantastic summer music festivals in BC. Surrounded by gorgeous Westcoast grasslands and stunning mountain views, there’s no better way to enjoy your favourite music.
Taking place annually over the Canada Day long weekend, the Funtastic Sport and Music Festival is held in Vernon, BC. Organized by the non-profit Funtastic Sports Society since 1984, the event includes a slo-pitch tournament as well as a music festival, with all proceeds going toward supporting the community’s sports and recreation initiatives. This year, the music festival lineup includes local bands such as Odds, The Wild!, Sleep Science, and The Young’uns. Visitors to the area can pick up a weekend pass to experience the full three-day event, or opt for a day pass to catch their favourite performances.
Every year, Comox Valley, BC hosts Vancouver Island’s very own MusicFest, taking place in mid-July. Comox Valley is located about an hour’s drive from Nanaimo, BC – which is easily accessed by mainland visitors via BC Ferries. Festivalgoers can bring low riders, blankets and tarps into the main audience area, and can start setting up as early as 9:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Vancouver Island MusicFest is a family friendly event that even provides a designated Kidzone, and offers over 200 musical performances on 6 different stages throughout the fairgrounds. This year’s performers include the Barenaked Ladies, Rita Coolidge, Wesli, and Emmylou Harris. Yoga classes, interactive workshops, and food vendors complete the lineup!
Starbelly Jam Music Festival is a unique music festival based in Crawford Bay, BC, located just over an hour from the city of Nelson. In addition to musical acts and live bands performing on the main stages, there is a plethora of activities available for kids, including performing children’s artists, wilderness guides, magicians, and more. For added family incentive, all children under the age of 12 get in for free. For the adults, Starbelly is a playground in its own right, offering yoga, belly dance classes, and singing-songwriting workshops. This summer, the artist lineup includes Deep Forest, The Boom Booms, Five Alarm Funk, and many more.
Another sport-music festival hybrid, the Center of Gravity festival was founded in 2008 and is now the largest sport and entertainment festival in BC. Located in Kelowna, Center of Gravity is essentially a large and vibrant beach party that showcases action sports and professional athletes in addition to headlining local and international music acts. Set along the Okanagan Lake, this summer festival is perfect for visitors to the area who love beach sports, hip hop music, and thriving after parties. This year, Center of Gravity will feature artists Snoop Dogg, ScHoolboy Q, and Marshmellow, to name a few.
For West coast residents and visitors who yearn for the country music fests spotlighted in Alberta and other Prairie provinces, grab your cowboy hats and look no further than BC’s Rockin’ River Country Music Fest. Located only an hour and a half from Summerland, BC on the way to Sun Peaks, Merritt hosts one of the province’s rare country music festivals, right alongside the Coldwater River. Guests can lounge by the water, participate in human foosball, enroll in a star search competition, or take a whack at riding the mechanical bull. Country music fans will love the festival’s lineup, which features stars such as Aaron Pritchett, Toby Keith, and Willie Nelson.
The 26th annual Kaslo Jazz Etc Summer Music Festival will take place in Kaslo Bay Park, BC, located in the Kootenays about an hour drive from Nelson. The festival overlooks beautiful Kootenay Lake, and is a fantastic stopover option for travellers heading up to Revelstoke or Golden for summer vacations. This world-class three day music festival still has a community feel despite its acclaim, featuring a long list of local and international blues, jazz, latin and folk artists. In addition to the sound stages, a Kindermusik kids tent entertains the whole family, while activities and music classes are also available for adults. The Kaslo Bay floating stage allows fans to take a refreshing dip in the lake while still enjoying the music. The 2017 lineup includes Los Lobos, A Tribe Called Red, The Sheepdogs, and more.