6 Wild, Weird and Wonderful Music Festivals Happening in BC


Ponderosa Festival.

While our hearts go out to the staff and crew that worked so hard to put on Pemberton Music Fest each year, summer 2017 is looking like great time to check out some of the province’s lesser-known, locally produced festivals. Here’s a taste of what’s out there:

1. ArtsWells – Wells, BC

With a population of 300 people, the Cariboo town of Wells is a fairly well kept secret, but come summer the town welcomes over 1000s of performers, artists and festivalgoers to partake in the town’s unique art and culture. Expect 12 stages with tons of performers and different genres, creative workshops ranging from Ukrainian dance to lyric writing, the International One Minute Play Festival a visual art walk and more. We attended ArtsWells in 2016 and had an absolute blast!

ArtsWells Festival
August 4 – 7, 2017
Wells, BC

2. Ponderosa Art and Music Festival – Rock Creek, BC

Situated in scenic Rock Creek (55km East of Osoyoos), Ponderosa Fest has quickly grown from a party amongst friends to one of BC’s most exciting up-and-coming music festivals. After having to cancel the festival due to the devastating forest fires in 2015, the festival organizers decided to focus their efforts on fundraising for members of the community who were hit the hardest by the fire. They’re back again this year and things are looking better than ever. Expect performances by indie-rock legends Wolf Parade as well as helicopter rides, morning yoga, river lounging, pancake breakfasts and what some have told us is the most chilled-outland welcoming music festival atmosphere they’ve ever experienced.

Ponderosa Art and Music Festival
August 18 – 20, 2017
Rock Creek, BC

3. Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo River

Shambhala is not for the faint of heart. This iconic BC festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary with 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. Tickets have already sold-out, but you never know what might pop up on craigslist!

Shambhala Music Festival
August 11 – 14, 2017
Salmo River, BC

4. Wapiti Music Festival – Fernie, BC

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, the festival line-up includes something that every member of your family or friend group can enjoy. Weekend passes are only $77 and this year’s headliner is Tokyo Police Club. Check it out!

Wapiti Music Festival
August 11 – 12, 2017
Fernie, BC

5. Starbelly Jam Music Festival – Crawford Bay

Starbelly Jam is a pretty special event. There’s awesome entertainment, food, kind people and plenty of activies 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.

Starbelly Jam Music Festival
July 21 – 23, 2017
Crawford Bay, BC

6. Tall Tree Music Festival – Port Renfrew

This festival is a serious party. It’s also a celebration of community spirit, the environment, and artistic creativity. In its 8th year, the festival showcases diverse musical and artistic talent. Did we mention that it’s a serious party?

Tall Tree Music Festival
June 23 – 26, 2017
Port Renfrew, BC