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Vancouver’s Contact Winter Music Festival in December

BC Place Stadium

The Contact Winter Music Festival is an electronic music festival at BC Place in December. 2019 headliners included Major Lazer, Kaskade, Rezz and Tiësto.

The 2-day event takes place right after Christmas Day and in 2019 it was on the Friday and Saturday of December 27th-28th. Headliner artists the year before were The Chainsmokers and Skrillex.

The festival was unable to run in 2020 due to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Details for 2021 are to be confirmed.

Contact Music Festival

The Contact Winter Music Festival has been running since 2012. Most years it has happened on December 26th (Boxing Day) and December 27th. The last couple of years, however, the dates have been on the Friday and Saturday after Christmas Day, so a couple of days later than previously.

The company behind the festival is Blueprint (which also runs the FVDED in the Park music festival in Surrey in the summer. They also operate 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 takes place at BC Place Stadium at 777 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver. 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.

Food and beverages are 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 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.)

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

At the festival there are two stages to enjoy the music. The main stage is located in the center of BC Place, 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 (so artists like Tiësto and Major Lazer). However, artists at the smaller stage can also be equally as good.

At the event BC Place 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”.)


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Festival Concert Lineup

Headliner artists last year included Major Lazer, Kaskade and San Holo. Headliners on the Saturday last year (so December 28th) were Tiësto, Rezz and Fisher.

Also playing in 2019 were Destructo, Feed Me, Graves, Tails, Young Bombs and others. The artists are primarily DJs and are spread across two stages with the main stage usually being in the center of the arena and the second stage being up near the seats.

Artists playing at the Contact Music Festival a couple of years ago included Skrillex, Galantis, Troyboi!, BTSM (Black Tiger Sex Machine), Valentino Khan, Elephante, Crankdat, Sudden Death, We are Fury and Juelz.

2021 details, if the festival does run, will likely be comparable.


Who Performed at Contact on the Friday in 2019?

Below is the performance schedule for Friday, December 27th.

(Note: Bands, times and other details are subject to change.)

On the Main Stage

  • 5:20 pmTails
  • 6:00 pmDroeloe
  • 6:55 pmSaid the Sky
  • 8:05 pmSan Holo
  • 9:15 pmKaskade
  • 10:25 pmMajor Lazer

On the FVDED Stage (pronounced “Faded”)

  • 5:10 pmNostalgix
  • 6:20 pmNitti Gritti
  • 7:20 pmKompany
  • 8:20 pmGraves
  • 9:30 pmG Jones


Who Performed at Contact on the Saturday in 2019?

Below is the performance schedule for Saturday, December 28th.

On the Main Stage

  • 5:20 pmYoung Bombs
  • 6:05 pmBonnie X Clyde
  • 7:10 pm – Destructo
  • 8:15 pm – Fisher
  • 9:20 pm – Rezz
  • 10:25 pm – Tiësto

On the FVDED Stage

  • 5:10 pmSivz
  • 5:50 pmWuki
  • 6:50 pmWooli
  • 7:55 pmDabin
  • 9:00 pmFeed Me


Festival Ticket Prices

Tickets for the event are based on a tier system, so the earlier you buy your ticket the less expensive it is. In 2019 the cost for a 2-day general admission pass ranged from $170 to $210, depending on the tier, and the cost for a 2-day VIP admission pass was about $330. Payment plans are usually available.

A couple of years ago the festival cost about $179.50 for a 2-day general admission pass or $289.50 for a 2-day VIP pass. Single day tickets cost $120.50 for general admission and $179.50 for a VIP pass.


Tips & Advice

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

TIP #1: Rent a locker! It can get quite cold in Vancouver in December so you will want a jacket for after the festival. The venue itself can get very 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 #2: Buy your tickets as early as possible since the tiers sell out fast. The payment plan is also a helpful option since it spreads the cost out over time.

TIP #3: 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 #4: It can be hard to hear your phone inside so always have a designated meeting time and place with your friends.

TIP #5: 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 #6: 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.

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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