Get ready for music festival season

Summer is here and with it comes another season of music festival fun. Pack your tents, load the cooler and make your way over to a festival near you.

B.C. is full of music festivals. Depending on your choice of music, atmosphere or activities, there’s a music festival that will meet most of your musical needs. All you need is accommodation, a pair of comfy shoes for dancing and walking, and an open mind. That said, here’s some top recommended music festivals happening in B.C. this summer.

The Vancouver Island Musicfest happens July 9 to 11 in Courtenay, B.C. This festival is a true island event alight with renowned performers such as Joan Osborne, Tanya Tagaq and Roy Forbes. Over 200 performers will entertain on six different stages. Activities such as instructional workshops, yoga sessions, and an interactive kid zone are available. Tickets are between $129 and $149. A number of accommodations are also available nearby. For more information, visit www.islandmusicfest.com.

The 33rd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival will take place July 16 to 18 at Jericho Beach. Voted “Best Local Music Festival” by a Georgia Straight reader’s poll, this festival offers an artistic community atmosphere with a city vibe just minutes away. This year’s musical performances will include Sarah Harmer, Peatbog Faeries and Valdy, plus a host of fun activities including an excellent Artisan Market. Tickets are $125 to $175 and can be found at www.thefestival.bc.ca.

For something with a community and family-oriented feel, be sure to check out Starbelly Jam Music Festival, held July 16 to 18 in Crawford Bay. This year’s event will be hosting a variety of music focusing on world music, blues, hip-hop, reggae, bluegrass and flamenco. Some of this year’s artists include Blackalicious and Pureblend. Rustic camping is available and tickets are only $75 to $95. Tons of children’s activities are available and children under 13 get in free. To get your tickets visit www.starbellyjam.org.

If you want to turn it up a notch, head to Nakusp Music Festival July 16 to 18. This rowdy but fun rock festival is featuring a variety of artists this year including Delhi 2 Dublin, Bif Naked, 54-40 and Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans. Tickets are $175 to $205. VIP packages are also available. Visit www.nakuspmusicfest.ca to check it all out.

A really unique jazz festival experience waits at the 19th Annual Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival, from July 30 to Aug. 1. Watch performers like John Korsrud Latin-Jazz Septet and Tambura Rasa onboard the floating stage while you take a swim in the refreshing waters of Kootenay Lake. A three-day Advance Pass is $147 and can be found at www.kaslojazzfest.com.

A summer music festival experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Shambhala Music Festival. This home to the wild and wacky is held Aug. 6 to 9 outside of Salmo, B.C. and features some of the best outdoor nightclub-like experiences around. Primarily an electronic music festival, Shambhala features performers such as Excision, A Skillz and Robb G, as well as a hip hop showcase and a variety of daytime activities. Tickets are $230. More information can be found at www.shambhalamusicfestival.com.

To end the season right, head over to Salmon Arm for the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, Aug. 13 to 15. This family friendly festival surprises attendees every year with their ever improving roster of artists. This year’s event includes Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles, Five Alarm Funk, K’NAAN and even Fred Penner. Tickets are $112 to $158. Find more information at www.rootsandblues.ca.

In Sun Peaks, an outdoor summer concert series will bring music to the mountain on Aug. 14 and 15. Performer lineups will be available soon at www.sunpeaksresort.com.

The HST will raise prices so be sure to get your tickets before it’s implemented. The ticket prices mentioned in this article are based on adult full weekend passes. Be sure to book any accommodations or camping in advance as most of the accommodation in smaller towns fill up fast. As always, have fun and boogie on down!

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