Vancouver Folk Festival

The Vancouver Folk Festival was founded in 1978 and has grown in popularity and attendance every year since. The festival is held every third weekend in July and features a broad swath of artists that represent a variety of genres from around the globe. You will see performers and artists from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and of course Canada, to name just a few of the participating countries. The Vancouver Music Festival has evolved over the years and now includes more than just traditional folk music. Today, visitors can expect to hear everything from folk and blue grass, to blues and jazz, hip-hop and rock ‘n roll. It is not as though you are going to be blown away with death metal or gangster rap, but suffice it to say that the Vancouver Folk Festival lineup has diversified significantly since its inception in the late 1970s, and is one of the top events in Vancouver.

The Vancouver Music Festival takes place every year at Jericho Beach Park, situated just west of the alluring neighborhood of Kitsilano (referred to locally as simply the Kits). On a clear day, you can catch glimpses of the formidable North Shore Mountains and Stanley Park in Downtown Vancouver in the distance. The vistas of the blue sea and the lush vegetation in every direction make this the ideal destination for the Vancouver Folk Festival.

Even though the various kinds of music featured at the festival have diversified over the years, there is still a heavy emphasis placed on traditional folk music, or variations of it anyway. What better setting than the ocean and the brilliant landscape of Jericho Beach to sit back, relax with a drink, and take in the sweet sounds coming from the stage. There are actually eight stages in sum that accommodate the entire Vancouver Folk Festival lineup. The lineups for each stage tend to be grouped into genres that work well together, so if you are not a hip-hop fan, for example, you will know where to go to find what you are interested in.

Besides the amazing array of music that is featured at the Vancouver Folk Festival, there are several other events and exhibitions that round out this weekend and make it a truly engaging and exciting event for all who attend. A volunteer corps of some 1,200 people runs the festival every year. They help to maintain the Artisan Market, where artisans from all over Canada vie for only around 40 spots to display their work to the captive audience of 30,000 plus over the three days. The Artisan Market and Folk Bazaar are two more reasons why people look forward to this festival each year.

When you take a look at any Vancouver Folk Festival Lineup from the past, you will quickly notice that there is a high degree of talent, especially considering the relatively small nature of the three-day event. Past performers at the Vancouver Music Festival have included Aimee Mann, Ani DiFranco, Ozomatli, Etran Finatawa, and many more. You will certainly not be disappointed if you have the chance to visit this popular event in late summer and early fall in the city of Vancouver.

Image: Tourism Vancouver, Dannielle Hayes

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