Hot Festivals to Attend this August

Lose your cool at a fun event before welcome week

Walk Off The Earth performing at Surrey Fusion Festival in Holland Park. (Kristen Frier)

Summer is almost over, and for a lot of us that means that it’s time to panic. Having spent most of July thanking my lucky stars that summer had finally rolled around, I neglected to take part in all the festivities that make for a memorable staycation.

Fortunately, August in Greater Vancouver has something fun for those on all walks of life.

If you happen to be in the lower Lonsdale area, Shipped Waterfront Festival is going on from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Aug. 11. The event is taking place right in front of the Lonsdale Quay SeaBus Terminal and is therefore easily accessible by public transit. There will be multiple stages with live performances and DJs, including indie-electro artist Humans, electro/dance artist Manatee Commune, and Leisure Club, a five-piece Vancouver band. Admission is free but there will be plenty of opportunities to spend money on the beer gardens, artisan vendors, food trucks, and family-friendly activities. The festival will also have zip-lining, axe throwing, and euro-bungee jumping for those who are more adventurous.

The Red Truck Concert Series is an annual event approaching its fourth year running. This one takes place at Red Truck Brewing in East Vancouver from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tickets are $35.00 and ticket holders must be of legal drinking age. On Aug. 11, Michael Ray will be headlining in the parking lot. There will be two stages—one at each end of the space so that, once one band is finished, the next can begin. Food and drinks will be served both inside and outside of the brewery.

The Harmony Arts Festival will held between West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park and John Lawson Park during Aug. 11 and 12. On the Saturday, a fusion group from Whistler called Big Love Band will be headlining. On Sunday, catch The Paperboys, an internationally known but Vancouver based genre-bending band. Admission is free and there’s no shortage of things to see. In the Argyle Avenue market, there will be food, vendors, art displays, and a beachside patio for drinks. At John Lawson Park, there will be movies at sundown, estimated to begin at around 9:00 pm. What sets this festival apart from the others is its Indigenous Exhibition, which will feature First Nations art, food, and culture. This is in part to recognize that most of West Vancouver is built on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Coast Salish peoples.

Another event taking place in the same area is Rock Ambleside – a three-day classic rock festival that starts on Aug. 17. Headlining will be Loverboy, Trooper, and Nazareth. A full weekend pass comes to $155.50 online and they are selling fast, but a single day only costs $64.50. There are also options for VIP experiences, a “white table” dining experience, and a “Superstar”package, all with varying perks such as having access to private tents, bar service, and exclusive menus.

Safe & Sound Music Festival in Westminster Pier Park is hosting its second festival on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25. Headlining the event are Anderson .Paak and Vince Staples. The park is a short walking distance from Columbia SkyTrain Station. Tickets are $59.99 for Friday, $99.99 for Saturday, or $149.99 for both days. General Admission is all ages and those who wish to drink alcohol can do so with age-verified wristbands. VIP tickets are only for those of legal drinking age and those who have them can enjoy perks including but not limited to an elevated lounge and private bar next to the stage. Last year the festival was not as busy as anticipated, but the easy-to-reach location, increased marketing, and popular headliners are likely to draw attention to it this time around.

Do you like bouncy castles? Check out Deep Cove Daze, a one-day event at Panorama Park on Aug. 26 from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Admission is free or by donation. The festival tends to be somewhat low-key but comes with a gorgeous view and tons to do. There is a small beach, kayak and paddle board rental service, and access to hiking trails. For those looking for a bite to eat, there’s an an artisan market, beer garden, and fleet of food trucks. Entertainment-wise, there will be four bouncy castles, a balloon artist, and live music stage. Some of the local performers playing include Deep Cove Big Band, Power Outage, Highland Eyeway, and Soliterre. If all of that still isn’t enough for you, there will also be a magician, so keep an eye out for that.

If festivals aren’t your cup of tea, don’t fear. August in Vancouver still has options for you. There is Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square if you’re feeling a free Salsa Lesson. There’s the Small Smaller Smallest Exhibition at the Federation Gallery for itty-bitty artwork. There’s $5.00 stand-up comedy at Little Mountain Gallery or Kings Head Comedy and, of course, Bard On the Beach for Shakespearean style theatre which will be happening well into September. Theatre lovers can also keep the Vancouver Fringe Festival, which happens from September 6 to 16, in mind.

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