In 2023 the event celebrated its second year on August 6th. It was on the Sunday of the BC Day Long Weekend. That was the same day as the Vancouver Pride Parade and the Vancouver Pride Festival’s VanPrideFest event. It was also the same day as the Vancouver Pride Boat Party with Vancouver Boat Parties. So many 2SLGBTQIA+ events happen on the August long weekend. It’s a fun and colourful time to be in Vancouver!
Happyland Pride Festival at Playland
The Vancouver Pride Parade is one of the biggest events of its kind in Canada. The parade isn’t the only large Pride event that takes place on the first Sunday in August, however. Later that same evening is the Happyland Festival.
Happyland began in 2022 and serves as a sort of doubleheader to the festivities at the parade earlier in the day. On hand are prominent drag queens, live music and all the fun that Playland has to offer.
The 2023 Happyland Festival took place on August 6th from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm (although doors open at 4:30 pm). The festival’s dates for 2024 are still to be confirmed.
Location and Admission
The main section of the festival is held in the PNE Amphitheatre with the entrance to Playland at 2901 East Hastings Street. Attendees have access to the entire park.
General admission tickets cost $79 in 2023 while VIP tickets cost $99. The VIP tickets include access to a special 19+ only zone. All tickets include unlimited access to the rides for the duration of the event.
What to Expect
Happyland brings a series of performers to the stage. The headliner in 2023 was Trixie Mattel who won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2018. Fellow drag queens Pabllo Vittar, Alaska, Slayyyter and Priyanka also starred this past year as did local performance group ENBY6.
Live DJs play music throughout the evening and the festivities spill over from the PNE Amphitheatre to the rest of the park. Happyland takes place after Playland closes for the day which means only those at the festival have access to the rides.
There is an alcohol-free zone for minors or those who don’t care to be around drinking, as well as the VIP 19+ section that includes a private bar. On top of Playland’s usual food and drink offerings, there are also food trucks on hand, fun carnival vendors and more entertainment options.
Buying tickets for this event helps raise money for both the Vancouver Pride Society and QMUNITY, the latter of which is a resource centre which supports other community events and organizations.
For more information about the event, see the Happyland page on the PNE’s website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- The PNE Fair
- Playland Amusement Park
- Vancouver Pride Festival
- Vancouver Pride Parade
- Really Gay History Tours
- Lower Mainland Pride Events
- BC Day Long Weekend