6 weird and wonderful independent music festivals happening in B.C.


Photo: Ponderosa Festival Facebook

If you’re craving something out of the ordinary, you need to check out these six independent music festivals happening in B.C.

Music Waste – June 7 – 10 in Vancouver, B.C.

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A multi-venue festival run solely by passionate volunteers. Taking place predominately in Chinatown and East Vancouver, Music Waste showcases the city’s out-of-the-ordinary extraordinary talents. From punk, to indie, to electronic to experimental noise, it’s all there, waiting to be discovered.

Starbelly Jam Music Festival – July 20 – 22 in Crawford Bay, B.C.

Starbelly Jam boasts awesome entertainment, food, and plenty of activities for kids. The organizers have deliberately steered the festival away from getting too big and instead have focused on cultivating a friendly and creative environment that aims to celebrate life, music, friendship and having a fun.


ArtsWells – August 3 – 6 in Wells, B.C.

With a population of 300 people, the Cariboo town of Wells is a fairly well kept secret, but come summer the town welcomes thousands  of performers, artists and festival goers to partake in the town’s annual event. With 12 performance stages, creative workshops and art walks, it’s a really incredible events for families looking to explore B.C. We attended ArtsWells in 2016 and had a blast.

Shambhala Music Festival – August 10 – 13 in Salmo River, B.C.

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Shambhala is not for the faint of heart. For 20+ years, this festival has hosted the most entrancing dance and electronic music performers in the world. Boasting six uniquely themed stages and incredible stage design and production, this is the perfect festival to let loose, get weird and have fun.

Wapiti Music Festival – August 10 – 11 in Fernie, B.C.

Every August, Wapiti Music Festival delivers a fresh experience to visitors and residents of the Elk Valley. It’s a casual and comfortable festival experience and with a focus on emerging Canadian indie artists that appropriate for all age levels.

Ponderosa Music Festival – August 17 – 19 in Rock Creek, B.C.

Taking place 55km east of Osoyoos  in scenic Rock Creek, Ponderosa Festival has evolved from an annual gathering into an all out top-tier music festival. After having to cancel the festival due to forest fires in 2015, they’ve come back stronger every year, with this year’s line-up being their boldest yet.



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Adam Nanji is the Content Manager at Vancouver Is Awesome. When he’s not scouring the city for awesome news, he performs as ¼ of local band, Belle Game. Adam grew up in Vancouver and earned a degree in Cultural Studies with a double minor in Communication and Gender Studies from McGill University. He’s passionate about Vancouver’s social issues and local art. You’ll typically find him standing on a corner, contemplating where to eat next. Tell him what you think is awesome: adam@vancouverisawesome.com