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Whistler Go Fest Outdoor Festival

Whistler Go Fest

Whistler Go Fest is a festival in the resort town of Whistler. It features music, sports, arts and cultural events over the Victoria Day weekend in May.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Whistler Go Fest happened online in 2021. The event took place on the Victoria Day Long Weekend from Friday, May 21st, until Monday, May 24th. Topics included foraging, meditation, yoga and music. There were pre-recorded video and audio files, along with interactive and live activities on Zoom.

Unfortunately, festival organizers decided against hosting the festival in 2022. Hopefully it returns in 2023, although it’s not looking likely. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.

 

Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

In years when it does take place, Whistler Go Fest is a popular event that includes live music, sport events and other cultural activities.

Free concerts usually take place in the Village Square once or twice on each of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is also live entertainment in the streets throughout the day all weekend, and there are sports workshops and other events throughout the region.

 

Victoria Day in Vancouver

 

Go Fest Event Venues

In years when there isn’t a pandemic, Whistler Go Fest activities take place at a variety of venues in Whistler Village and the surrounding area.

Below are the locations of some the main venues in a typical year and further below is the list of main festival events and their scheduled times.

  • Alta Lake Station House – at 5560 Old Mill Lane on the west side of Alta Lake.
  • The Arts Centre – the Maury Young Arts Centre is located at 4335 Blackcomb Way.
  • Creekside Village – a short drive from the main Whistler Village at 2055 Lake Placid Road.
  • Florence Petersen Park – beside the Whistler Public Library at 4329 Main Street and location of the scavenger hunt on the Saturday afternoon.
  • GO Fest Base Camp – a tent located in the Olympic Plaza.
  • GO Fest Haven – a venue in the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
  • Lakeside Park – at 3375 Lakeside Road on the southeast shore of Alta Lake.
  • Mountain Square – in the Skiers’ Plaza near the base of the Whistler gondolas.
  • Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – an Indigenous cultural centre at 4584 Blackcomb Way.
  • Whistler Museum – at 4333 Main Street.
  • Whistler Public Library – at 4329 Main Street and location of Friday’s Pancake Breakfast.
  • 5678 Alta Lake Road (The Point Cabin) – location of workshops and Whistler Go Fest sailing clinics on the west side of Alta Lake.
  • Whistler Village Main Stage – location of the free afternoon and evening concerts in the Skiers’ Plaza near the base of the Whistler gondolas.
  • Olympic Plaza – the large open grass area with a covered stage at the north end of the downtown part of the village.

 

Market Day at Whistler
Whistler Village Farmers Market

 

Whistler Go Fest Highlights

Some of the highlights of the festival in years when it does take place include the free concerts and various art and sporting events.

 

Go Fest Concerts

Big name local groups play on the Main Stage in the Olympic Village most years. Bands and performance schedules from 2019 are listed below. 2023 details are to be confirmed.

 

Friday, May 17th, 2019

  • Corb Lund at 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

  • Jesse Roper at 3:00 pm
  • Said the Whale at 7:30 pm

 

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

  • Buckman Coe & Tonye Aganaba at 3:00 pm
  • Lazy Syrup Orchestra at 7:30 pm

 

Coco Jafro on Stage in Concert
Coco Jafro at Whistler Go Fest

 

Whistler Go Fest Schedule

In addition to the free concerts, there are tons of other things to see and do at Whistler Go Fest including free street entertainment in the afternoons each day.

Events are generally organized into one of four categories: sport, arts, music and education. There’s something for everyone at the Whistler GO Festival.

In years that the event does take place, the schedule generally looks like the one below. For an idea of what to expect in future years, below are some of the activity highlights from 2019.

(Note: Event times and details were subject to change.)

 

Friday, May 17, 2019

  • Pancake Breakfast – outside the Whistler Public Library at 4329 Main Street from 10 am until 12 pm. Admission was $2 to $5.
  • Lole Yoga – at the GO Fest Base Camp in the Olympic Plaza from 5 until 6 pm. Participation was free.
  • WFF Adventure Film SeriesReel Rock Tour 13 film showed at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 4335 Blackcomb Way at 7 pm. Admission is $16.50 – $22.
  • Corb Lund – the popular country musician played outdoors on the Village Square Mainstage starting at 7:30 pm. Admission was free.

 

Bridge at Whistler Village
Whistler Village

 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

  • Lole Yoga – at the GO Fest Base Camp in the Olympic Plaza from 9 until 10 am. Free admission.
  • Whistler Parkrun – a 5-km run beginning at the Lost Lake Passivhaus at 400 Fitzsimmons Road South starting at 9 am. Free admission.
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding – at Lakeside Park at 3375 Lakeside Road from 9 am to 4 pm. Cost was $15.
  • Road Cycling Group Ride – a group bike ride starting at Mountain Square in the Skiers Plaza at 10 am. Cost to participate was $2.
  • MAC Meet Up – at the Whistler Library Plaza at 4329 Main Street from 10 am to 2 pm. Free admission.
  • GO Sailing Clinic – sailing instructions at 5678 Alta Lake Road from 10 am until 2 pm. Cost was $50.
  • Valley of Dreams – walking tours starting at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Cost was by donation.
  • First Nations Drum Circle – at GO Fest Haven in the Olympic Plaza from 11 am until 12 pm. Free admission.
  • Canoe the River of Golden Dreams – self-guided boat trips at Lakeside Park (3375 Lakeside Road). Cost was between $40 and $70 depending on your age.
  • Jesse Roper – a free outdoor concert on the Village Square Mainstage at 3 pm.
  • WFF Adventure Film SeriesThis Mountain Life showed at the Arts Centre at 4335 Blackcomb Way at 4:30 pm. Cost was between $8 and $10.
  • WFF Adventure Film Series – the film Safety to Nome showed at the Maury Young Arts Centre at 4335 Blackcomb Way at 6:30 pm. Cost was between $10 and $16.50.
  • Said the Whale – the popular band performed outdoors on the Village Square Mainstage starting at 7:30 pm. Free admission.
  • WFF Adventure Film SeriesBikes of Wrath showed at the Arts Centre at 8:30 pm. Cost was between $10 and $16.50.

 

Other Saturday Events

Events that took place on the Saturday over the course of several hours (and that in most but not all cases you could drop by and check out at pretty much any time) included the following in 2019:

(Note: Details were subject to change.)

  • Forged Axe Throwing – at the Olympic Plaza from 11 am until 3 pm. No charge for participation.
  • Make Your Own Bird House – a workshop at the Olympic Plaza from 11 am until 5 pm. Cost for materials was $15.
  • Vans Mini Skate Ramp – at the Olympic Plaza Pavilion from 11 am until 4 pm. It was free for people ages 10+ and suitable for all skill levels. You needed to bring your own helmet and were expected to sign a waiver!
  • Riglet Snowboard Park – a fun activity for children ages 3 to 6 at the Olympic Plaza Pavilion from 11 am until 4 pm. No cost to participate in (assuming you were a little kid).
  • Table Tutors – free Learn to DJ instruction in the Olympic Plaza from 11 am until 4 pm.
  • Whistler Street Entertainment – street performers could be found at various times and locations throughout Whistler Village between noon and 5 pm.
  • Go Green Nature Scavenger Hunt – a fun activity for children at Florence Petersen Park by the Whistler Public Library. It was a free activity that ran from 1 until 4 pm.

(Note: Event times and details were subject to change.)

 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding – hourly at Lakeside Park from 9 am until 4 pm. Cost was $15.
  • GO Sailing Clinic – a sailing workshop at 5678 Alta Lake Road started at 10 am. Cost was $50. No experience was necessary.
  • First Nations Smudging Ceremony – at the GO Fest Haven in the Whistler Olympic Plaza at 10:30 am. Free admission.
  • Buckman Coe & Tonye Aganaba – a free concert at the Village Square Mainstage at 3 pm.
  • Lazy Syrup Orchestra – a free concert at the Village Square Mainstage at 7:30 pm.

 

Coco Jafro Singing on Stage
Coco Jafro at Whistler in 2018

 

Other Sunday Events

Events that took place on the Sunday over the course of several hours (and that in most but not all cases you could drop by and check out at pretty much any time) included the following in 2019:

  • Dig, Sow, GROW – plant your own sunflower to take home at the Olympic Plaza between 11 am and 4 pm. Free!
  • Whistler Village Farmers’ Market – a large produce and artisan market in the Upper Village from 11 am until 4 pm.
  • Riglet Snowboard Park – a free activity for children ages 3 to 6 at the Olympic Plaza Pavilion from 11 am until 4 pm.
  • Table Tutors – free Learn to DJ instructions at the Olympic Plaza from 11 until 4 pm.
  • Whistler Street Entertainment – street performers could be found at various times and locations throughout Whistler Village between noon and 5 pm.

 

Free May Events in Vancouver Banner

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

  • Vinyasa Yoga – at the GO Fest Base Camp in the Olympic Plaza from 9 until 10 am. There was no charge to participate.
  • Discover Nature – animal bones, pelts, tree samples and other nature specimens were on display at the GO Fest Haven from 10 am until 1 pm. Free!
  • Whistler Street Entertainment – street performers could be found at various times and locations throughout Whistler Village between noon and 5 pm.

 

Other Information

For more information about the Whistler event over the May Long Weekend, check out the Whistler Go Fest website.

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