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Vancouver SKOOKUM Music Festival

Skookum Festival's Forest Stage

The SKOOKUM Festival was a one-time music festival featuring bands, art and food. It took place in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on September 7-9, 2018.


SKOOKUM Festival at Stanley Park

Launched in 2018, SKOOKUM was a music festival that promised to be world-class and unique in a number of ways.

SKOOKUM was an urban festival taking place within the City of Vancouver and in one of the world’s most famous and beautiful parks. In addition to being a music festival, it was also very much an event about food and art.

The festival was also one-third Indigenous. Behind the scenes was a partnership of business, the city and Parks Board, but also local First Nations.

Among artists and foods from other cultures, at SKOOKUM there were Indigenous artists, Indigenous food and Indigenous musicians. The event also took place on the traditional unceded territories of the local Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Headliner bands at the event in 2018 included The Killers and Florence + The Machine. Participating Vancouver-based bands include favourites like Delhi 2 Dublin, the Boom Booms, the Matinée and Barney Bentall.

SKOOKUM was brought to Vancouver by Brand Live, the people behind the no-longer-running Squamish Music Festival, which in 2015 was the largest outdoor music event in Western Canada.

In short, in its first year, despite some bad weather, SKOOKUM was, well, “skookum,” which in the Chinook language means “greatest, powerful and monstrously significant.”


Dear Rouge at Music Festival
Dear Rouge in Concert


2018 Music Lineup

The music lineup for SKOOKUM in 2018 over the course of the three days is listed below.

(Note: Concert dates and other details were subject to change.)

Friday, September 7th, 2018

  • 5:05 pmLittle Crow: a Vancouver-based Alternative Rock duo (on the Forest Stage).
  • 5:20 pmShred Kelly: a 5-member BC-based Alternative, Folk and Rock band from the Kootenays (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 6:20 pmDelhi 2 Dublin: a popular Vancouver-based World-Music group that plays a mix of Bhangra, Electronic, Hip Hop and Celtic tunes (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 6:40 pmThe Julian Taylor Band: a Toronto-based Funk, Soul and Rock musician and his band (on the Forest Stage).
  • 7:00 pmLittle Destroyer: a 3-person Vancouver band (on the Forest Stage).
  • 7:25 pmDear Rouge: the Vancouver-based Alternative Rock duo of Drew and Danielle McTaggart and 2016 Breakthrough Group of the Year JUNO-Award winner (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 8:00 pmBlack Pistol Fire: a high-octane rock duo based out of Texas (on the Forest Stage).
  • 8:30 pmChromeo: a Montreal-based Electro-Funk duo consisting of David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 9:05 pmMatt Mays: a JUNO Award-winning Indie and Folk-Rock artist from Nova Scotia (on the Forest Stage).
  • 9:15 pmMob Bounce: a Northwest Coast Indigenous pair of Alternative Native Hip-Hop musicians (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 9:45 pmArkells: the JUNO Award-winning Alternative Rock band from Hamilton Ontario with the hit single “Knocking At The Door” (on the Mountain Stage).


Dear Rouge on Skookum Mountain Stage
Dear Rouge on the Mountain Stage


Saturday, September 8th, 2018

  • 1:20 pmMurray Porter: a Mohawk piano player and singer from Six Nations on the Grand River Territory and currently based in North Vancouver (on the Forest Stage).
  • 2:00 pmThe Zolas: a Vancouver-based Indie-Rock trio (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 2:30 pmMissy D: a Hip Hop, Rap and R&B singer originally from Rwanda (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 2:40 pmMidnight Shine – a Roots and Rock band from Ontario (on the Forest Stage).
  • 3:00 pmSaid The Whale: a 3-member JUNO Award-winning Indie-Folk and Rock band from Vancouver (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 3:45 pmThe Matinée: a 4-man Vancouver-based band with their latest Dancing on Your Grave album (on the Forest Stage).
  • 3:45 pmCurrent Swell: a Roots and Indie Rock band from Victoria BC (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 4:15 pmX Ambassadors: a band on tour from New York State (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 5:35 pmRodrigo y Gabriela: an Acoustic Rock-guitar duo originally from Mexico (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 5:25 pmMilky Chance: a German duo that plays Alternative music (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 5:35 pmBitterly Divine: a Vancouver-based Squamish Nation Rock and Roll Blues band (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 5:45 pmMatt Anderson: a Canadian singer and guitar player nicknamed Stubby Fingers and originally from New Brunswick (on the Forest Stage).
  • 6:00 pmSt. Vincent: an American art and Indie-Rock band with lead singer Annie Clark (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 6:45 pmStereophonics: a British Alternative-Rock band from Wales (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 7:15 pmSnotty Nose Rez Kids: a pair of Hip-Hop artists from the Haisla Nation (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 7:40 pmHey Ocean!: the Vancouver-based Classic Pop, Indie and Alternative Rock group that headlined New Westminster’s 2018 Uptown Live event earlier in the summer (on the Forest Stage).
  • 7:45 pmWar on Drugs: a 6-person band from Philadelphia (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 8:35 pmMetric: a JUNO Award-winning Canadian Indie-rock and New Wave band from Toronto (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 9:45 pmFlorence + The Machine: a British Indie-Rock and Pop band from London that sang “Wish That You Were Here” in the movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (on the Skyline Stage).


Skookum's Forest Stage at Night
The Forest Stage at Night


Sunday, September 9th, 2018

  • 12:00 pmZynth + Co: a Vancouver-based dance and entertainment company (provides roaming entertainment around the park venue).
  • 1:30 pm – Daysormay: a 5-person Alternative band from Vernon BC (on the Forest Stage).
  • 2:00 pmWilliam Prince: a JUNO award-winning musician from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 2:30 pmAndrew Phelan: an Australian-born and now Vancouver-based musician nominated for the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Best Breakthrough Album of the Year (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 2:40 pmThe Boom Booms: a popular 5-person Vancouver-based Indie-Soul band (on the Forest Stage).
  • 3:00 pmCrystal Shawanda: a Country and Blues musician originally from Ontario’s Wikwemikong Reserve (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 3:45 pmBelle Game: a group led by vocalist Andrea Lo (on the Forest Stage).
  • 3:45 pmCold War Kids: a 5-man California-based Indie-Rock band with the hit single “First” and 2017 album La Divine (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 4:15 pmYukon Blonde: a 5-person band based on Galiano Island with the recent singles “Crazy” and “Emotional Blackmail” (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 4:50 pmGreta Van Fleet: a young 4-person Hard Rock and Blues-Bock band from the States (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 5:25 pmWhitehorse: a husband-and-wife Canadian Folk-Rock band from Hamilton Ontario (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 5:35 pmHaley Blais: a Vancouver-based Folk musician (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 5:45 pmBarney Bentall: the local Vancouver music legend from the 1980s and 90s group Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts (on the Forest Stage).
  • 6:00 pmMother Mother: a 5-person Vancouver-based 4-time JUNO-nominated Indie and Alternative-Rock band (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 6:45 pmBahamas: the Finnish-Canadian male Folk musician Afie Jurvanen from Ontario (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 7:15 pm –  Kelly Derrickson: an Indigenous Country Music singer and guitar player from Kelowna BC (on the Meadow Stage).
  • 7:40 pmBuffy Sainte-Marie: a Cree First Nation singer and songwriter from Saskatchewan (on the Forest Stage).
  • 7:45 pmFather John Misty: the American singer and songwriter Josh Tillman with the Grammy Award-winning album Pure Comedy (on the Skyline Stage).
  • 8:35 pmBlue Rodeo: the Canadian Country-Rock band from the 1980s with over 4 million albums sold and 11 JUNO Awards (on the Mountain Stage).
  • 9:45 pmThe Killers: a 4-man Grammy and American Music Awards-nominated Indie, Alternative and New Wave Rock band from Las Vegas. With over 20 million in sales world-wide over the years, their latest album is Wonderful Wonderful (on the Skyline Stage).

In addition to the above, on one of the three days (but likely on the Sunday), Ta’Kaiya Blaney is a 17-year-old First Nations musician from Bowen Island who also performed.


Mr Bannock Food Truck
Mr. Bannock Food Truck


SKOOKUM Food and Drink

As mentioned above, the SKOOKUM Festival was about more than just music – it was about food and art too.

At SKOOKUM there were special long table dinners, pop-up restaurants, and picnic baskets available for purchase and prepared by some of Vancouver’s top restaurant chefs. There will be seafood, West Coast, Indigenous, Italian and various other types of cuisine on the festival menu.

In addition to fancy stuff, also present at the event in 2018 were some of Vancouver’s most popular food trucks including Reel Mac and Cheese, Mr. Bannock, Vij’s Railway Express, Urban Wood Fired Pizza and Fat Mao Noodles, among others.

Postmark Brewing, Main Street Brewing, Twin Sails Brewing, the Parkside Brewery and the Woods Spirit Company looked after the festival’s adult beverage needs.



In addition to music and food, SKOOKUM was also about art. Featured artists in 2018 included Katie So, Drew Young, Leó Stefánsson, Debra Sparrow, Sarah Delaney, Scott Sueme, Michelle Lorna Nahanee, Tim Rolls and James Acrow.

Forms of art at the festival included music (obviously) but also live art, sculpture, multimedia installations and even tattoo art.


Skookum Art Installation and Sillhouettes
Skookum Festival Art Installation


For More Information

For ideas on other things to do in the same month, check out our September Calendar.

And for a list of other major events throughout the year, click Vancouver Festivals & Events.