Formerly called Rock Ambleside, the Ambleside Retro Music Festival is an outdoor classic Rock music festival in West Vancouver in August.
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West Vancouver’s Ambleside Retro Music Festival
Ambleside Live is a music festival series that has been taking place near the waterfront in West Vancouver since 2013.
The event attracts an older crowd and showcases popular rock bands from yesteryear. In 2019 bands included Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite, Quiet Riot, the Headpins, Sass Jordan and other great favourites of years past.
The 2020 festival was cancelled due to COVID-19, but the bands that were going to perform included Aldo Nova, April Wine, Dennis DeYoung And the Music Of Styx, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Glass Tiger, Harlequin, Haywire, Nazareth, Prism, Three Dog Night, and Trooper. Between them these groups have 6 JUNO Awards, 28 platinum records and 23 gold records, so it’s an impressive lineup! These bands will likely be pushed to 2021.
Where and When
Now called the Ambleside Retro Music Festival, the event takes place each year around the third weekend of August. In 2020 the dates were going to be August 14th, 15th and 16th, but the event was cancelled. The 2021 festival is scheduled to take place on August 13th, 14th and 15th. The Ambleside Retro Music Festival usually runs from 5:00 until 10:00 pm on the Friday, and from 2:30 until 10:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.
Admission to the music festival in 2020 was going to cost the following:
- Full Weekend Pass: $179.00*
- Single Day Pass: To be confirmed
This compares to $165.50 for a weekend pass last year and $70.00 for a one-day pass.
Parking could be purchased in advance for about $30 for a single day or $90 for the full weekend.
VIP Weekend Tickets were also going to be available for $449.50 plus taxes and fees (which is the same price as 2019). Included in the price in 2019 was a complimentary parking pass, festival T-shirt, and non-alcoholic beverages and appetizers prior to the show. VIP Ticket holders also got access to the VIP area and expedited entrance line, as well as a chance to (possibly) meet some of the artists. In 2020 it was probably going to be similar.
Children under the age of 13 were going to be free in the general admission area when accompanied by a paying adult.
(*) Note: Fees do not include taxes and extra fees. $70 Single Day Passes, for example, actually cost close to $85 after adding all the various surcharges.
Bands that performed in 2019 included Blue Oyster Cult, David Wilcox, Honeymoon Suite, Quiet Riot, SAGA, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, The Romantics, Pat Travers, Headpins, Sass Jordan and Streetheart. Between them, over the years, these groups have collected 24 platinum and 15 gold records as well as 12 JUNOs! It was an impressive lineup!
The Ambleside Retro Music Festival schedule of events for 2019 is listed below to give you an idea of what to expect in 2021 (recognizing that times and performer details were subject to change).
Friday, August 16, 2019
- 5:00 pm – Gates Open (Time to be confirmed.)
- 6:00 pm – Streetheart
- 7:15 pm – Headpins
- 8:30 pm – Honeymoon Suite
Saturday, August 17, 2019
- 2:30 pm – Gates Open (Time to be confirmed.)
- 3:30 pm – Pat Travers
- 5:00 pm – Sass Jordan
- 6:40 pm – SAGA
- 8:30 pm – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider
Sunday, August 18, 2019
- 2:30 pm – Gates Open (Time to be confirmed.)
- 3:30 pm – The Romantics
- 5:00 pm – David Wilcox
- 6:40 pm – Quiet Riot
- 8:30 pm – Blue Oyster Cult
Rock Ambleside Concert Video
Below is footage for one of the concerts at Rock Ambleside from a previous year.
It’s not every day that the lead singer of a major rock band comes down off the stage to be with the crowd to sing, but that’s what Paulie Z from Sweet did in 2018. What a great concert it was!
Things to Know
Below are some good things to know before heading to the festival.
- The event takes place rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. Take your umbrella if precipitation is in the forecast (although oversized golf and beach umbrellas are not permitted).
- Re-entry is allowed up until 9:30 pm, so you can enter and leave the venue as you like up until that time, but not after. Also, if leaving, don’t forget your wristband or hand stamp.
- Smoking and pets are not permitted at the venue.
- Expect to have your bags and other personal belongings searched upon entry.
- Professional cameras (i.e., with detachable lenses) and recording devices are prohibited.
- Take your own blanket or lawn chair to sit on (unless spending extra for the VIP seating).
- Outside food and beverages are not permitted. Empty plastic and metal water bottles, however, are allowed.
For further details about the Ambleside Live event, see the Ambleside Retro Music Festival website.
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