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North Vancouver’s Shipyards Festival

Shipped Waterfront Festival

The Shipyards Festival is a music festival and street party at the waterfront in the Lower Lonsdale district of North Vancouver in September.

Formerly called the “Shipped Waterfront Festival”, the event celebrated its inaugural year in August in 2018. Renamed the “Shipyards Festival“, it took place again in 2019. Because of COVID-19 it didn’t happen in 2020. The event returned, however, on September 25th, 2021. It 2022 the festival happens on Saturday, September 17th.

For details about the event continue reading or check out the official Shipyard’s Festival website.

 


This article contains the following information:

About the Festival | When & Where | Festival Activities | Beer Gardens | 2021 Music Lineup | Concert Video | Tips & Advice | Festival Video | Other Information

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the North Shore’s newest and most exciting event.


 

Shipyards Festival & Street Party

2018 was the Shipped Waterfront Festival’s first year and it was an impressive event. Over 7,500 people attended! It was a free event, family-friendly and at an amazing (and easily accessible) venue. The festival was renamed the Shipyards Festival for 2019 and over 15,000 people attended.

The festival didn’t take place in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic. It did, however, happen in 2021 on September 25th. Bands performing at last year’s event included Bedouin Soundclash, The Zolas, Harlequin Gold, MNGWA, and other groups.  Continue reading to learn more about the festival.

 

About the Festival

The Shipyards Festival is one of the Lower Mainland’s newest major festivals. It’s part music festival, part street party and fully free to attend!

The festival takes place at various locations along North Vancouver’s waterfront between the Shipyards and Lonsdale Quay. In its inaugural year it featured multiple stages, a couple of beer gardens and kids’ activities. There were also ziplining, climbing wall, axe-throwing and Euro-Bungee jumping opportunities to be had! The 2019 event was similar (although without the ziplining).

In 2021 the event had a few different stages for its performers. The festival also had a variety of vendors, fun activities for those both young and old, and a liquor license.

 

Axe Throwing Games
Axe Throwing at the Festival in 2018

 

When and Where

In 2021 the Shipyards Waterfront Festival happened on Saturday, September 25th, from noon until 10:00 at night. The event’s date and details for 2022 are to be confirmed.

In years when it happens, the venue for the festival includes a large area along the waterfront in the City of North Vancouver. It stretches from the Pier, Pipe Shop and Shipbuilders’ Square at the Shipyards, along the waterfront by the Polygon Gallery, and to Lonsdale Quay.

Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards are located at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue by the BC Transit SeaBus station and North Vancouver’s main bus terminal at 123 Carrie Cates Court.

In 2019 the Boom Booms and The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer were the event’s headliner bands. Other well-known groups included Adam Woodall, Sister Says, MNGWA, Kutapira, John Welsh & Los Valientes and others. It was such an awesome day.

In 2021 participating bands included Bedouin Soundclash, The Zolas, Astrocolour, XL the Band, MNGWA, Via Barcelonia, Turunesh and other groups.

 

Lonsdale Quay Plaza at Shipyards Festival
Lonsdale Quay during the Shipyards Festival

 

Festival Activities

The Shipyards Festival includes live music, DJ music, artisan vendors, a Family Zone with kid-friendly activities, food trucks, a beer garden station and community information stalls.

 

Beer Gardens

In 2019 there were two areas at the festival where folks ages 19+ could enjoy craft beers and other adult beverages while listening to the music. One of the beer gardens was on the waterfront side of the Polygon Gallery close to Lonsdale Quay. The other was at Shipbuilders’ Square where the main live music took place.

The beer vending station in Shipbuilders’ Square was where you could buy Stanley Park Brewing beverages and enjoy them while walking around or at a table in the plaza.

In 2022 there will likely be beer gardens at the same two locations. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.

 


For the most up-to-date details about the event see the official Shipyard’s Festival website.


 

2021 Music Lineup

Below is the music schedule for 2021. Live music took place at a number of different venues at the Shipyards Festival including on stages in Shipbuilders Square, at Shipyard Commons and out on the pier. There was also child-friendly entertainment in the Seaspan Family Zone.

 

Shipbuilders Square Stage

The Shipbuilders Square Stage was located in the main plaza at the Shipyards between the Tap and Barrel Restaurant and the newer outdoor covered plaza. (It’s where concerts take place on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer.)

Performing at this venue in 2021 were The Zolas, Bedouin Soundclash, Astrocolour, IAMTHELIVING, Harlequin Gold, Via Barcelonia, Bridgehill, Grade School and The Della Kit. For comparison, a couple of years ago the bands playing here included Adam Woodall, Sister Says, MNGWA and the Boom Booms.

 

Concert at Shipbuilders' Square
The Boom Booms on Shipbuilders’ Stage

 

Stage at Shipyards Commons

Shipyard Commons is the newer giant covered plaza at the Shipyards. It’s where there is a small water park area in the summer and a skating rink in the winter.

Performing at this venue in 2021 were Bedouin Soundclash, XL the Band, Mikey Jose, MNGWA, Turunesh, DJ Kookum, Redwoods, Nimkish, and Ben Cotrill.

For comparison, a couple of years ago, the groups playing here included the North Shore Celtic Ensemble, Kutapira, John Welsh and Los Valientes, and The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer.

Bedouin Soundclash Concert Video

To give you an idea of what to expect at Shipyard Commons at the end of the night at the Shipyards Festival, check out the video below. It shows scenes of the concert by Bedouin Soundclash in 2021. What a great event it was!

Earlier in the day there were a number of other great concerts on the Shipyard Commons Stage, but with fewer people in the audience. By the time the headliner band took the stage, however, the place was absolutely packed!

 

 

Performances on the Burrard Dock Pier

Burrard Dock is the giant pier that stretches 210 metres out into the water at the Shipyards. On it, at the Shipyards Festival in 2021, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble, Early Spirit and Kiérah were all scheduled to perform.

 

Seaspan Family Zone

Located at the Pipe Shop in Shipbuilders’ Square a couple of years ago but at Lonsdale Quay in 2019, the Family Zone features kid-friendly entertainment, music, dancing and other fun stuff. The area also has children’s play areas. In 2021 the Family Zone was once again at the Pipe Shop.

Entertainers in the Family Zone in 2021 included Ginalina, Robin Reddy and Matt Henry. There was also face-painting, balloon arts and craft activities for children.

 

Lonsdale Quay Stage

This stage is located in the plaza that’s between the fountain and waterfront next to the Lonsdale Quay Public Market. Performing at this venue last year were Bukola BalogunMichaela SlingerMYC Sharratt and Ivan Hartle.

 

Concert at Shipped Waterfront Festival
Live Music at Shipbuilders’ Square

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your Shipyards Festival experience.

TIP #1: Especially if coming from anywhere other than the North Shore, take public transit if you can. The event takes place close to the Lonsdale Quay SeaBus Terminal so it couldn’t be more convenient.

TIP #2: Lower Lonsdale is one of Metro Vancouver’s most interesting neighbourhoods, especially in the summer and when there are events going on. While at the festival, explore the area!

TIP #3: The Shipyards Festival has activities for all ages. Bring the whole family and invite your friends! It’s a ton of fun!

 


For the most up-to-date details about the event see the official Shipyard’s Festival website.


 

Festival Video

Below is a video showcasing some of the sights and sounds of the Shipped Waterfront Festival from a couple of years ago. The band playing in the video is The Leisure Club and the juggler is Mike Battie.

 

 

Other Information

For more details about this great North Vancouver’s end-of-summer event, check out the Shipyards Festival‘s website.

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