Home Vancouver Monthly Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2023 Vancouver’s Contact Winter Music Festival

Vancouver’s Contact Winter Music Festival

BC Place Stadium

The Contact Winter Music Festival is an electronic music festival in December. 2022 headliners include Above & Beyond, The Chainsmokers, Subtronics, and others.

The 2-day event takes place right after Christmas. In 2022 it’s happening on the Tuesday and Wednesday of December 29th and 30th.


Contact Music Festival

The Contact Winter Music Festival has been running since 2012. It used to happen on December 26th (Boxing Day) and December 27th. In recent years, however, the dates have been a couple days later than that.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Contact Winter Music Festival was unable to take place in its regular format in 2020. Instead, the event was postponed until February 2021 at which time it was livestreamed online. The livestreamed concert was also only one night instead of its regular two nights. The next event was scheduled for December in 2021, but it was eventually cancelled due to COVID-19.

Fortunately, the Contact Winter Music Festival returns on December 29th and 30th in 2022.

The company behind the festival is Blueprint (which also runs the FVDED in the Park music festival in Surrey in the summer, along with venues like Celebrities Night Club on Davie Street in the West End, Venue on Granville Street and the Fortune Sound Club on East Pender).


What to Expect

The biggest winter music festival of its kind in the country, the Contact Winter Music Festival is held at BC Place Stadium at 777 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver. In a typical year performances take place on two different stages and they usually start at around 5 pm and end at midnight each day.

This 2-day festival highlights some of the biggest names in EDM (i.e., electronic dance music) as well as some up-and-coming Canadian artists.

At the event the venue is packed full of thousands of teenagers and young adults, with many in varying degrees of sobriety, and a fair number dressed as if at the beach in the summer (i.e., expect to see lots of skimpy clothing, bikini tops and guys without their shirts). It’s quite the party! (For an idea of what it looks like, Google “Vancouver Contact Winter Festival photos”.)


The Festival Stages

At the festival there are normally two stages to enjoy the music. The main stage at BC Place is located in the centre of the stadium, right where the sport events normally take place. The second stage is much smaller and located around the corner from the lockers (or at least that’s been the case in the past).

Generally the main stage hosts the bigger groups. However, artists at the smaller stage can also be equally as good.

The event is a large one, and tickets usually sell out in advance. The dance floor is usually full of people enjoying the music and generally, the closer to the stage you get the more crowded it is (so if you want more space to dance, staying closer to the back is best).


Food and Drink at the Festival

Food and beverages are normally available for purchase at the venue. Options in previous years have included things like pizza, hot dogs, water, pop and various alcoholic beverages.

(Note: 2 pieces of ID are required when purchasing adult drinks. Also, you are usually allowed to bring in one empty reusable water bottle per person. You are not permitted to bring in other commercially-produced beverages or liquids in your own bottle.)


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Festival Concert Lineup

In 2022 the lineup for December 29th includes Above & Beyond, Subtronics and Madeon. Other performers on day one of the festival are 4B, HuxleyAnne, Level Up, Madam Lola, Matroda, Seb C, Steph Tsunami, Wax Motif and special guest James Hype.

The lineup for December 30th in 2022 features The Chainsmokers, Loud Luxury and SVDDEN DEATH. Other artists performing on day two of the festival include Blossom, Cedric Gervais, Dombresky, Eli Brown, Westend and Zeke Beats.

To give you an idea of the usual timing of the performances, below is what the Contact Festival schedule was in 2019.


Festival Ticket Prices

Tickets for the event are usually based on a tier system, so the earlier you buy your ticket the less expensive it is.

As of late November in 2022, a 2-day general admission pass starts at $170. The cost for a 2-day VIP admission pass starts at $300. Single day passes are also available for about $116 each.


Tips & Advice

Below is some advice and extra information to help you make the most out of your festival experience.


Tips for Before and After

TIP #1: Buy your tickets as early as possible since the tiers sell out fast.

TIP #2: Pre-arrange your way home to beat the rush for taxis outside the event. This could include public transit, a ride from family/friends or maybe a hired driver. If you are really stuck and need to get a taxi, it is usually easier to get one a few blocks up from the festival.


Other Suggestions and Things to Know

TIP #3: Rent a locker! It can get cold in Vancouver in December so you’ll want a jacket for after the festival. The venue itself can get warm and the line for coat check can get long, so it is easiest to just get a locker to keep your belongings safe and secure. Plus you can charge your phone inside the locker.

TIP #4: Get through the security line fastest by arriving early (right when the festival starts). The line can get quite long later in the evening so arrive as early as you can to beat the rush. You also get the added bonus of seeing the opening acts which are usually local artists that play great music.

TIP #5: It can be hard to hear your phone inside so always have a designated meeting time and place with your friends.

TIP #6: If you have sensitive ears, or want to still be able to hear at the end of the concert, and 50 years later, don’t stand in front of the speakers. Putting a set of ear plugs in your pocket just in case you want them isn’t a bad idea either.

TIP #7: Now that BC Place Stadium has changed its rules and you are allowed to bring in a reusable water bottle, take advantage of that. Water purchased on-site can get expensive and you will get thirsty. There is usually a water bottle refill station inside the venue as well.


Other Information

For more information about the event click Contact Winter Music Festival.

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