5 Summer Festivals in BC You Won’t Want to Miss!

As the rain clouds part and the sun comes, people from all across Canada look forward to the various summer music festivals here in beautiful British Columbia. While it’s impossible to give an objective top 5 list, we wanted to give you some of our favourite picks that you should know about! Whether you’re a fan of folk, rock, jazz, pop, reggae or EDM there is a music festival for you in BC this summer.

Credit: @vicskareggaefest

Victoria Ska Fest
June 19–23

On their 25th Anniversary Victoria Ska Fest is a fun and lively event with a mix of Reggae, Dancehall and Rock music. Headlining for the past 15 years are The Wailers ( Bob Marley’s former band ) and they are celebrating the 40th year anniversary of their album “Legend” the highest selling Reggae album of all time!
Checkout their schedule of diverse acts! There is bound to be something for the family. Like many of the festivals in this list (besides Shambhala Music Festival) Victoria Ska Fest is run by a non profit society called; ‘The Victoria BC Ska Society, due to this everyone is a volunteer with the goal to entertain and educate while also empowering local musicians.
Kids 10 and under go free, so bring the family and make sure to attend some workshops! Which will be announced on the Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival website.

Credit: 2023 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Vancouver International Jazz Festival
June 21–30

One of the longest festivals in BC, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival spans from June 21st – 30th, ran by Coastal Jazz and Blues Society the international Jazz Festival started in 1985 as a non profit with the goal to “not only increase the appreciation of the music, but to strengthen the arts community by developing special projects, artistic exchanges, partnerships, educational initiatives, community programs, and collaborations that further the art form.”

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival moves all around the city of Vancouver from Downtown Vancouver to the Ocean Artworks on Granville Island.


And don’t worry about breaking the bank because there are plenty of free shows at this year’s festival, and you can see all the acts (as well as when and where they will be playing on the schedule on their website here)

Credit: Brendan McAlpine

Vancouver Folk Music Festival
July 19–21

Starting off the list is the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, a laid back and fun environment for the whole family in Vancouver at Jericho Beach. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is celebrating their 47th annual showing, with the festival being founded in 1978 and originally taking place in the famous Stanley Park.

Spanning only one weekend from July 19 – 21 you won’t want to miss this Vancouver staple which is bound to expose you to different cultures, sounds and styles you have never seen or heard of before. Every year tens of thousands of people from all ages flock to Jericho beach, where there are acts from over 40 different countries.
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is proud of their Open Arms Initiative which helps newly settled Canadians to meet with other recent arrivals. If you’re looking for a cultural fusion with great views of Jericho Beach The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is a must see in BC.
Notable acts included in this year’s lineup: Highway 61 Reimagined (Bob Dylan tribute band), the Wood Brothers, The Milk Carton kids and so much more.

Credit: Salmon Arm Observer

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
July 26–28

Salmon Arm is a quaint town with gorgeous views and a feel good festival you won’t want to miss this summer July 26 – 28. Many people choose to camp for this festival due to the great views and clear waters of Shuswap Lake (check out an article we did of 11 Best Lakes For Swimming In BC for more of the best lakes in BC).
32 years in the running the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival offers fun for the whole family with a kid zone and plenty of food to keep you going. The lineup this year includes; Amanda Marshall, Five Alarm Funk and Sarah McLachlan.

Salmon Arm is a family friendly environment welcoming the parents, kids and grandparents!

Credit: Nelson Kootenay Lake And Tourism

Shambhala Music Festival
July 26–29

Held on a 500 acre farm in the West Kootenay Mountains, the Shambhala Music Festival is one of BC’s biggest and most immersive festivals in BC. This festival is the only one on the list catered towards a younger audience, and is not necessarily the best place to bring your children as the predominant genre is EDM music and show times are later in the day.
That being said, if you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere the Shambhala Music Festival offers just that! Here are some of the fun wacky things you can do:

• Get Married at the Wedding Chapel
• Take Yoga Classes
• Check Out the Art Gallery
• And Partake in free workshops

The Shambhala Music Festival is truly designed to immerse you in the environment, kind of like a BC version of burning man (but less post apocalyptic).

The Shambhala Music Festival is primarily an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festival, with some of the best EDM DJs and performers in the world attending this year.

Their website offers frequent updates, camping details and outside the festival activities.

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