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Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Taking place at beautiful Jericho Beach in July each year, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is one of the Lower Mainland’s premier music festivals.

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns in 2024 and runs from July 12th to 14th. In 2023 the festival was on from July 14th to 16th.

For the festival’s official website, visit thefestival.bc.ca.

 


In this article you’ll find information about the following:

Admission | Concerts Schedule | What to Expect | The Music | Beer Garden | Festival Food | Artisan Market | Festival Advice | Other Information

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.


 

Vancouver Folk Fest at Jericho Beach

Attracting tens of thousands of folk music enthusiasts over the three days, the festival typically features over 60 performances from artists from more than 12 countries.

Celebrating its 47th anniversary in 2024, this year’s festival happens on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of July 19th to 21st. As of early April, early bird tickets are now available online. So far, two performance groups have been announced. They are The Milk Carton Kids and 47Soul. The complete performance lineup is to be confirmed.

Performers at this past year’s festival included Susan O’Neill, Celeigh Cardinal, Blick Bassy and Las Cafeteras.

The lineup for the Main Stage on Friday, July 14th in 2023, included Amythyst KiahAoife O’Donovan, Calexico, the Medicine Singers. Part of the last group was Daniel Monkman (Zoon), Yonatan Gat and special guest Gord Grdina.

On the Main Stage on Saturday, July 15th, were Toubab Krewe, William Prince, American Beauties (with Songs of the Grateful Dead Re-imagined) and True Loves. And on the Sunday there was Joe HenryAlbert LeeLas Cafeteras and Kalàscima featuring Andrea Ramolo.

It was yet another amazing folk music festival and we can’t for the festival’s return in 2024 and the artists who will perform then!

 


For full details about the festival, click Vancouver Folk Festival 2024.


 

Vancouver Folk Fest Crowds at Dusk
Folk Fest at Dusk

 

Admission to Folk Fest

In past years, performances at the festival ran on the Friday from about 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm, and on the Saturday and Sunday from around noon until 11:00 pm. This year’s weekend hours may be similar, although exact details are to be confirmed.

You can normally buy tickets for the whole weekend or for just one or two out of the three days.

 

2024 Early Bird Full Weekend Tickets

Below are the early bird ticket prices for the full weekend in 2024.

  • Adults: $200
  • Students: $150
  • Seniors (65+): $170
  • Youth: $135
  • Children (12 and under): free when accompanied by a paying adult

 

Below were early bird ticket prices for each of the three days in 2023. 2024’s ticket prices for individual days is still to be confirmed but will likely be similar.

 

2023 Early Bird Friday Evening Tickets

  • Adults: $60
  • Students (20+): $35
  • Seniors (65+): $45
  • Youth (ages 13-20): $30
  • Children (12 and under): free when accompanied by a paying adult

 

2023 Early Bird Saturday & Sunday Tickets

  • Adults: $100
  • Students (20+): $75
  • Seniors (65+): $90
  • Youth (ages 13-20): $70
  • Children (12 and under): free when accompanied by a paying adult

 

Frazey Ford at Folk Fest
Frazey Ford at Folk Fest (in 2022)

 

Concerts Schedule

The full festival lineup for last year’s season is listed below. The lineup for the 2024 event is to be confirmed.

Note: Schedule location and performer details were subject to change.

 


Friday July 14th (2023) Concerts 


 

Friday Evening Concerts on the MAIN STAGE (2023)

 

Friday Evening Concerts on the East Stage (2023)

 

Robben Ford at Folk Fest

 

Friday Evening Concerts on the West Stage (2023)

 

Friday Evening Concerts on South Stage (2023)

 


For the most up-to-date information about the festival, see the Vancouver Folk Fest website.


 

Vancouver Folk Fest Crowds

 


Saturday July 15th (2023) Concerts and Workshops


 

Saturday Evening Concerts on the MAIN STAGE (2023)

 

Saturday Concerts and Workshops on the East Stage (2023)

 

Folk Fest Singers

 

Saturday Concerts and Workshops on the West Stage (2023)

 

Saturday Concerts and Workshops on the South Stage (2023)

 


For the most up-to-date information about the festival, see the Vancouver Folk Fest website.


 

Viper Central in Concert

 


Sunday July 16th (2023) Concerts and Workshops


 

Sunday Evening Concerts on the MAIN STAGE (2023)

 

Sunday Concerts and Workshops on the East Stage (2023)

 


For full details about the event, see the Vancouver Folk Music Festival website.


 

Saxophonist from Robben Ford Band at Folk Fest

 

Sunday Concerts and Workshops on the West Stage (2023)

 

Sunday Concerts and Workshops on South Stage (2023)

 

What to Expect at Folk Fest

At the Vancouver Folk Music Festival you can expect three days of amazing folk music performances by dozens of international singers and bands on multiple stages spread out over the lawns at the park by beautiful Jericho Beach.

You can also expect thousands of people enjoying not only the music, but also the beer garden, festival food and artisan market most years. There are also special activities for children, like face painting and crafts.

Note: The festival was smaller than usual last year due to the organization’s financial situation and the rising cost of operating the event. Details about this past year’s activities were to be confirmed. The event was awesome, despite budgetary constraints!

 

Mandolin Orange Band at Folk Fest

 

Folk Fest Music

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival attracts some fairly big names in the folk music world. If you’re really into folk music, you will likely have heard of a number of each year’s performers. If you like folk music but aren’t seriously into it, however, then you might have heard of one or two.

In 2016, the headliner for the final night was Bruce Cockburn. In 2017 one of the main bands was The Bare Naked Ladies. 2018 bands included Alex Cuba and Les Poules à Colin.

Music is played from multiple stages in different areas of the park at the same time, so if you find you don’t like what you’re listening to, chances are pretty good you’ll find something you love pretty close by.

For a look at the festival venue, click Folk Fest Site Map.

 

Vancouver Folk Fest Side Stage
A stage near the Festival’s West Gate

 

Festival Beer Garden

At the Vancouver Folk Music Festival there is of course a beer garden which serves both wine and beer. The beer garden area has tons of tables, many of which have umbrellas for shade. The host brewing in 2022 was Whistler Brewing.

A gazillion people attend the festival of course, so be prepared to wait in line to get your drinks at popular times, or simply keep your eye on the line as it has both busy times and slow times. One of the best places to be at the festival though, without doubt, is at the beer garden!

 


For full details about the festival visit thefestival.bc.ca.


 

Folk Festival Food

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival always has a great selection of food for sale – everything from healthy vegan dishes, to ethnic cuisine to junk food. There’s something for everyone, and most of it is really delicious!

Most of the food vendors are concentrated in sort of a food court area in the northeast corner of the festival venue, which is convenient as it means everyone in your group can find something they like all in the same general place.

 

Food Trucks at Folk Fest
Food Trucks at the Festival

 

The Artisan Market

The Artisan Market at the festival is truly impressive. It usually features over 100 vendors selling all kinds of beautiful and interesting things. It’s a great market!

For the weekend of the festival, the Folk Fest Artisan Market is arguably the best market in the Lower Mainland.

At the market you can find everything from handmade soaps to African drums to colourful Guatemalan clothing. You’ll also find hats, bags, Persian rugs, sunglasses, hemp clothing, all kinds of jewellery and even vendors offering shiatsu massages and palm readings. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, it’s interesting just taking a look.

 

Folk Fest Artisan Market
Artisan Market at Vancouver Folk Fest

 

Folk Festival Advice

Below are some tips to help you make the most of your Vancouver Folk Music Festival experience.

TIP #1: If you’ve never been to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival before, unless you really don’t like music, go! The evening headliner concerts, for example, alone are worth the price of a full day’s ticket.

TIP #2: If you’re not sure if you’ll like the festival, or if you’re not even sure if you like folk music, just go to Jericho Beach for part of the day and check it out from a distance. If it turns out you like what you see and hear, then either buy a ticket and go inside or plan to do so in the following year.

TIP #3: If you order your tickets online at least three days in advance you’ll save yourself a few dollars.

TIP #4: People say that in past years when it has rained the event was still incredible. Beautiful sunny weather for an outdoor music festival is ideal. If the weather isn’t perfect though, don’t let that stop you.

 


For full details about the concerts see the Vancouver Folk Music Festival website.


 

Robben Ford at Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Robben Ford at the Festival (in 2022)

 

Suggestions on What to Take

TIP #1: Take a water bottle. It can be hot at Jericho Beach in July and the Festival provides water stations where you can refill your bottle. And if you think you’ll really need cooling off, take your swimsuit too – the ocean can be freezing cold, but Jericho Beach is one of Vancouver’s finest. Also, time your dip in the water when the tide is coming in. If the sand is hot the water warms remarkably.

TIP #2: Take public transit if you can, or ride your bike, because with thousands of festival goers all at the same place, parking can be a nightmare. Take good walking shoes and don’t be surprised if you have to walk a considerable distance, like from as far as the western end of Spanish Banks some four or so kilometres away. If driving, go early and try your luck. Or, if you can, put bicycles on your bike rack and plan to park and then cycle. (Note: There is a large secure bicycle parking area at the main [East] entrance just off 4th Avenue. Bicycle parking there usually costs about $2.)

 

Folk Fest Video

To give you an idea of what to expect, below is a short video clip of people having fun at the festival from a few years ago.

 

 

Other Information

See the Folk Fest Website for further information on the Festival in general.

To see a layout of the festival from 2022, click Festival Site Map.

Check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ July Calendar for other great events taking place this same month, or the Vancouver Festival Calendar for a list of the Lower Mainland’s other top events and festivals.

Click Free Summer Concerts for a list of other music venues in July and August.

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