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Whistler Go Fest Outdoor Festival

Whistler Go Fest

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

In 2020 the event takes place in and around Whistler Village from May 15th to 18th.

Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

Whistler Go Fest is a popular 4-day event that includes live music, sport events and other cultural activities.

Free concerts 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

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 and location of the All British Car Show on the Sunday.
  • 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.
  • Olympic Plaza – the large open grass area with a covered stage at the north end of the downtown part of the village.
  • 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.
  • Whistler Village Main Stage – location of the free afternoon and evening concerts in the Skiers’ Plaza near the base of the Whistler gondolas.
  • 5678 Alta Lake Road (The Point Cabin) – location of the digital camera photography workshop on May 18th and Whistler Go Fest sailing clinics on the west side of Alta Lake.
Market Day at Whistler
Whistler Village Farmers Market

Whistler Go Fest Highlights

Some of the highlights of the festival each year include the free concerts, classic British car show 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 in 2019 are listed below. Bands performing a couple of years ago included The Philosopher Kings, Carmanah and Coco Jafro.

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

Classic British Car Show

Most years Whistler Go Fest hosts a free car show which features over 100 classic British cars each year. It was going to take place on the Sunday, so on May 17th in 2020. Earlier in the spring, however, organizers of the event announced that, due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the event would be postponed. Instead of happening in May, the car show will likely happen later in the summer.

In years when it isn’t cancelled, on the Saturday of the May Long Weekend the annual All British Field Meet (ABFM) car show takes place at VanDusen Garden in Vancouver. With well over 400 vehicles on display, the event is one of the largest of its kind in Western Canada. The next day, on the Sunday, over 100 of the ABFM cars head up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler.

In previous years the Sunday version of the All British Car Show took place in Whistler Village. A couple of years ago, for the first time, it took place at Creekside Village at 2055 Lake Placid Road (which is a short bike or bus ride away). In 2020 the cars were once again scheduled to be in the Whistler Creekside Plaza.

The car show at Whistler is free to see and usually runs from around 10 am to 3 pm. Click All British Car Show for more details.

TIP: The much larger car show at Vancouver’s VanDusen Garden isn’t free, but it is very impressive. If you like classic British cars, check it out! You won’t be disappointed! See ABFM for details.

British Car Show at Whistler Creekside
The All British Car Show at Whistler Creekside

Whistler Go Fest Schedule

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

For an idea of what to expect in 2020, below are some of the activity highlights for 2019.

(Note: Event times and details are 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 – paddle boarding opportunities 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 10:00 am to 2 pm. Free admission.
  • GO Sailing Clinic – sailing instructions at 5678 Alta Lake Road from 10:00 am until 2 pm. Cost was $50.
  • Valley of Dreams – walking tour starting at Whistler Olympic Plaza at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. 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) beginning at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. 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.

Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festivals

Events taking 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 (and will likely be similar in 2020):

(Note: Details are 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 are 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.
    • Canoe the River of Golden Dreams – self-guided boat trips started at Lakeside Park at 5560 Old Mill Lane at 10:30 am. Cost was between about $40 and $70 depending on your age.
  • Canoe the River of Golden Dreams – a second round of self-guided boat trips started at Lakeside Park at 5560 Old Mill Lane at 1:30 pm. Cost was between $40 and $70 depending on your age.
  • 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

Events taking 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:

  • All British Car Show – at Creekside Village at 2055 Lake Placid Road from 11 am to 3 pm. Free admission.
  • 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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