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Music, Festivals, Arts

Your essential guide to the 2016 Vancouver Folk Music Festival

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Rob Feller Jul 13, 2016 12:52 am

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is more than just an event – it’s a Canadian institution. Now in its 39th year, the VFMF consistently lures an array of local and international talent to Jericho Beach Park and the 2016 edition is no exception.

Whether you’re a folk music newbie or you’ve been attending the event for years, we’ve got some handy tips to make the most of this weekend’s festival experience.

See also

From information on kid-friendly zones, to access to drinking water, to site maps, we’ve got you covered.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival/David Niddrie

Vancouver Folk Music Festival/David Niddrie

When is the festival?

Dates: Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17

Gates Open:

East Gate (4th Ave):

  • Friday: 1 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 am to 10 pm

West Gate (by Sailing Club):

  • Friday: 1 pm to 10 p.m
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 am to 10 pm

Access Gate (patrons with disabilities/mobility issues only):

  • Friday: 1 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 am to 10 pm

Neighbour Gate (by invitation only):

  • Friday: 1:30 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: closed

*Security is present at each gate should you require re-entry after 10:00 pm.

Where is the festival?

Location: Jericho Beach Park is located off West 4th Avenue, just west of Alma Street.

2016 VFMF site map

Parking: Available parking is very difficult to find, so the VFMF encourages patrons to come to the Festival via public transit or by bike – or even on your own two feet! If you must travel by car, follow the signs along West 4th Avenue to Festival parking.

Public Transit: The #4 bus will take you directly to the site at Jericho Beach Park. Exit the bus on the 4000 Block stop and walk to the Festival site from there. More information on the VFMF’s Getting Here page.

Cycling: Bikes cannot be brought onto the festival site, but the VFMF provides bicycle parking in two supervised lots for only $2 per bike per day. Lots are located close to West 4th Avenue near the East Gate or the West Gate.

Website: thefestival.bc.ca

Who is playing at the festival?

This year’s lineup is jam-packed with Canadian and International folk music superstars, More than 60 acts from 18 countries will perform on 7 beachfront stages this weekend, including Lord Huron, Lucy Ward, Bruce Cockburn, Jojo Abot, M. Ward, The Wainwright Sisters, and dozens more. The complete lineup, including all daytime workshops and concerts, is available here.

What to bring to the festival?

Seating: You should bring a blanket or tarp to lay on the ground. The maximum size of blankets and tarps allowed on-site is 8’x8′. Lawn chairs are permitted but the chair legs can be no taller than 4.5 inches or 11.5 cm.

Clothing: The Festival happens rain or shine, so bring weather-appropriate clothing. Hats and sunscreen are always a good idea, and be sure to pack a warm sweater for the evening concerts as the stage is near the water and can get chilly at night.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival/Eric Scott

Vancouver Folk Music Festival/Eric Scott

Food: The VFMF’s Food Area has a great reputation for diverse and delicious food, and is a very special part of the Festival experience. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available. Feel free to bring your own food (there are recycling bins to help minimize waste), but no alcohol or other substances are permitted on the festival grounds.

Drinks: Bottled water is not available for purchase on-site; bring your own container for the filtered water at self-serve water stations. The VFMF’s official beverage sponsor Big Rock Brewery is also on-site.

Craft Markets: A highlight of the Festival, The Artisan Market will be back with wonderful hand-crafted items for purchase. Don’t forget to drop by the Festival Booth for souvenir mugs, hats, and lawn chairs. There are also 160 vendors in the ever-popular Folk Bazaar at the West Gate near Stage 6.

A special kid-friendly folk festival

The Little Folks Village is located by Stage 1 on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. Kids 12 and under get into the Festival free when accompanied by a paid adult. There are a wide range of activities for kids of all ages, including:

  • The Trollsons
  • Nylon Zoo
  • Madskillz Roving Performers
  • Publik Secrets Musical Playground
  • Redbird juggling, stilt-walking & song-making
  • Keys to the Streets
  • Paper making, clay play, and recycled crafts

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival runs from July 15 to 17 at select venues around Vancouver. Full program and tickets available at thefestival.bc.ca.

Daily Hive is a proud media partner of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival


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Rob Feller
Rob Feller is a huge music lover based in Vancouver who has been known to dress like a dork at concerts in hopes of meeting bands.

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