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Vancouver World Music Fest

World Music Fest

The Vancouver World Music Festival was a multi-day event featuring Locarno and other local bands at venues like the Imperial and Guilt & Company.

In 2019 the music festival took place on Wednesday, April 24th, as well as on the Friday and Saturday of April 26th to 27th.



The Vancouver World Music Festival hasn’t happened since the start of the COVID-19 era. Whether it ever takes place again is to be determined. New as of 2023, however, there is a World Music Festival that is part of the ScotFestBC event which happens every year on the Father’s Day Weekend in Coquitlam. ScotFestBC: The BC Highland Games & World Music Festival takes place on June 16th to 18th in 2023.


World Music Festival

Celebrating its fifth year in 2019, World Music Fest was an annual event with concerts at a couple of different venues around town. It featured various genres of music, but at its core is Latin.

World Music Fest was an artist-curated festival, meaning it was run and organized by some of the artists themselves. Specifically, it was founded by musicians Robin Layne and Tom Landa from the Vancouver band Locarno.

At the festival, most of the participating bands were local, although there was also the occasional touring band that happened to be in the area. The festival was also committed to encouraging young performers.

In 2018 the festival took place over the course of four days. In addition to concerts at the Imperial and Guilt & Co., there was also a free live music event at the Trout Lake Community Centre. Something similar took place again last year in 2019. On May 5th (so on Cinco de Mayo) there was free Mexican-themed activities and live music between noon and 3 pm. Click Trout Lake for details.

Participating bands in recent years have included Locarno, MNGWA, Las Cafeteras, Mazacote, Bloco Energia and The Boom Booms, plus the Flamenco group Calle Verde.


Tom Landa and Locarno
Tom Landa and Locarno at the Imperial


2019 Festival Lineup

The venues and bands that performed on the different days of the festival in 2019 are listed below.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Performing between 7 pm and 9 pm in Gastown at Guilt & Co at #1 Alexander Street were the following:

  • Itamar Erez & Hamin Honari – a guitar and percussion duo with members originating from Iran and Israel. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Performing at the Imperial at 319 Main Street between 8 pm and midnight were the following:

  • Graceland – a Paul Simon tribute concert featuring Tom Landa, Ezra Kwizera, Tonye Aganaba and others. Cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.


Saturday, April 27, 2018

Performing between 8 pm and midnight at the Imperial on the Saturday were the following:

  • Locarno (with Tonye Aganaba) – a popular Vancouver-based band specializing in a mixture of Mexican Folk, Cuban and Latin Soul.
  • Mokoomba – a band that plays Afro tunes from Zimbabwe.
  • Cost for the night is $25 in advance or $30 at the door.


Tonye Aganaba in Concert
Tonye Aganaba at the Imperial


2019 Ticket Prices

Tickets for World Music Fest in 2019 ranged from $15 to $50 per person plus online fees.

The Wednesday night event at Guilt & Co cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The Friday night show at the Imperial cost $20 and the Saturday night concerts cost $25, both in advance, or $5 extra for each at the door.

VIP Weekend Passes with access to the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday concerts were also available for $50.


Free Events in April


Other Information

For a list of other events taking place in the Lower Mainland, check out the following: