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. We do expect it to happen again though in 2021.
Shipyards Festival & Street Party
2018 was the Shipped Waterfront Festival’s first year and it was an impressive event. Over 7500 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.
The festival didn’t take place in 2020 due to restrictions imposed by the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
This article contains the following 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.
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 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).
When and Where
In 2018 the Shipped Waterfront Festival happened on Saturday, August 11th, from noon until 10:00 at night. In 2019 it took place on Saturday, September 28th, at the same times.
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!
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. In 2018 there were also crazy activities like ziplining and axe throwing right in the city! The axe throwing and other fun activities should return in 2021.
Last year 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 2019 event featured a beer vending station in Shipbuilders’ Square. That’s where you could buy Stanley Park Brewing beverages and enjoy them while walking around or at a table in the plaza.
2019 Music Lineup
Live music takes place at a number of different venues at the Shipyards Festival including on stages in Shipbuilders Square, at Shipyards Commons and out on the pier. There is also child-friendly entertainment in the Seaspan Family Zone.
Shipbuilders Square Stage
The Shipbuilders Square Stage is located in the main plaza at the Shipyards between the Tap and Barrel Restaurant and the new outdoor covered plaza. (It’s where concerts take place on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer.)
Below was the performance schedule on this stage in 2019.
- 12:00 pm – Adam Thomas
- 1:00 pm – Adam Woodall: a local dance party band that plays a variety of genres including Acoustic, Rock and Folk
- 2:00 pm – Sister Says
- 3:00 pm – Cherrie Laurel
- 4:00 pm – MNGWA
- 5:00 pm – Redwoods
- 6:00 pm – Mike Edel
- 7:00 pm – The Boom Booms: a popular Vancouver-based Indie-Soul band
Stage at Shipyards Commons
The Shipyards Commons is the new 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 (starting later in the year).
At the Shipyards Festival the following bands performed on the Shipyards Commons Stage in 2019:
- 12:30 pm – HAVYN
- 1:30 pm – Sky Parallel
- 2:30 pm – Uno Mas
- 3:30 pm – North Shore Celtic Ensemble
- 4:30 pm – HOFFEY
- 5:30 pm – Sleepy Gonzales
- 6:30 pm – Kutapira
- 7:45 pm – John Welsh and Los Valientes
- 9:00 pm – The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer: a well-known Blues and Rock band from Vancouver
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 2019, the following groups were scheduled to perform:
- 2:00 pm – North Shore Celtic Ensemble
- 3:00 pm – Pat Chessell
- 4:00 pm – Portiia – Trio
Seaspan Family Zone
Located at the Pipe Shop in Shipbuilders’ Square last year 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.
The 2019 schedule for entertainment in the Family Zone was the following:
- 12:00 pm – Mike Battie
- 1:30 pm – Rockin’ Robin
- 3:00 pm – Ginalina
- 4:30 pm – Rockin’ Robin
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 more details about North Vancouver’s newest summer event, check out the Shipyards Festival‘s website.
For information about other things to do in the area, check out the following:
- North Vancouver
- North Shore
- Shipyards Night Market (a giant summer night market that takes place on Friday evenings)
- Shipyards Summer Sessions Concerts (which take place on Saturday evenings in July and August)
- North Vancouver’s Best Restaurants
- Lonsdale Quay (a large year-round indoor market)
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s July and August Calendars
- Lower Mainland Summer Activities
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Free Summer Concerts in Vancouver