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Vancouver’s Skookum Festival not returning in 2019

Organizers say they are ‘currently working towards a 2020 return’
Rain did not damper the crowd’s reaction to Mother Mother’s spirited set at Skookum Fest. Photo Kirk Hamilton/3AM Revelations

Skookum, the three-day music festival that hit Vancouver’s Stanley Park last September, isn’t returning for a repeat performance this year, instead taking a year off to get ready for 2020.

Billed around the “music that moves us, the food that delights us and the art that inspires us,” the festival was dubbed an “overwhelming success” by organizers with a reported 51,000 people attending over three days.  However, some attendees were critical of the event, complaining online about long line ups for food and toilets.

That said, fans of the festival will have to wait another year for a repeat performance.

“As the inaugural year required extensive planning and artists often book on an 18-month cycle, event organizers are currently working towards a 2020 return,” organizers said in a statement emailed to the Courier.

In a statement on its website, the festival says: “Following a successful launch, work is already underway to bring Skookum back as an annual festival in 2020.”

Skookum was approved at by Vancouver Park Board at an in-camera meeting in July 2017. A park board spokesperson told the Courier that organizers would have to go back to the board for approval of any future proposal.

The festival took over Stanley Park’s 17-acre Brockton field complex Sept. 7 to 9 with multiple stages that saw the likes of the Killers, Florence and the Machine, Arkells and Metric perform. There were a total of 52 stage performances, which included 25 B.C. artists and 14 Indigenous groups.

The festival is produced by Vancouver-based Brand Live, the same company behind the now-defunct Squamish Valley Music Festival, which was cancelled in 2016 after a six-year run.


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