What to expect at this Wednesday's 4/20 event in Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 9:24 pm

It’s that time of year again: stoners will be hitting the streets of Vancouver to celebrate all things cannabis-related for the city’s annual 4/20 protest.

The event that isn’t permitted or sanctioned by the City of Vancouver usually attracts around 25,000 people each year, which has prompted a major venue change this year. Instead of being held at the Vancouver Art Gallery as per tradition, the protest will now be held at Sunset Beach, raising concerns among city workers. As a result of the move, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre will be closed for the day to prevent – erm – unintentional hot boxing of the pool.


So what can you expect to find at this year’s 4/20 celebration?


Booths at Vancouver’s 4/20 event are known to sell pot paraphernalia as well as edibles (no, it doesn’t become legal for a day – the whole event is illegal). For those interested in having a booth at the event, you’ll have to dish out 300 bucks and bring your own tent, tables, and chairs.

Alcohol sales are strictly forbidden by the event organizers, since the focus is all weed, all the time. There are free booth spaces available the day of the event that are handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Here’s a map of where the booths will be located:

Image: 4/20 Vancouver

Image: 4/20 Vancouver


In addition to the sale and consumption of all things pot, there will be musical performances by local artists.


Last year, there were 64 protestors who had to be taken to the hospital as a result of overdosing on marijuana. Jodie Emery told Vancity Buzz back in February that a number of safety precautions will be put in place for the celebration.

“Every year we sit down and meet with the City of Vancouver special events, the Vancouver Fire Department, the Vancouver Police Department and BC Ambulance Services and we coordinate a safety plan,” she said.

The biggest pot protest yet?

While the event has capped out at 25,000 people in recent years, expanding the venue could attract even more spectators this year.

“Sunset Beach is Vancouver’s biggest and best outdoor event venue, and will allow 4/20 to expand and grow into a much larger event with more people, more booths, more cannabis and more freedom than ever before,” Sensible BC leader Dana Larsen said in a recent post to the Vancouver 4/20 Facebook event page. “The past few years of 4/20 have been difficult to navigate and participate in, because of the overwhelming throngs of people.”

Larsen adds that while the Vancouver Parks Board doesn’t sanction the event, they’ve agreed not to block it either, so the event has the potential to be the city’s largest to date.

4/20 Vancouver 2016

  • Where: Sunset Beach – 1204 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, April 20; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.