Summer music festivals in Northern BC

🕔Jun 07, 2006

June 3
Quesnel: Provincial Old Time Fiddle Contest
Genre: Traditional Canadian old-time fiddle
Features: The Sabir Sisters, plus many of the best fiddlers in western Canada.
Camping onsite
No website at press time
Info: 250.992.5081
Notes: Fiddlers from all over BC and Canada join in a day of music and fun. Concert by Sabir Sisters on Friday night, fiddle contest all day Saturday, dance on Saturday night Each competitor is required to play one waltz, jog, reel. Pancake breakfast on Sunday… music usually continues until noon Sunday.

June 9
Prince Rupert: Seafest concerts
Genre: Mostly rock, blues, alternative
Features: Youth Blockstock on Friday with teen bands; Karin Ljungh and guests on Saturday night
No camping.
Info: 250.622.2332 ext. 29
Notes: This event is a free, open-air concert, part of Prince Rupert Sea Fest. Youth Blockstock features local teen bands performing original music and covers. Youth-organized, drug-and-alcohol-free event. Free admission. Friday: Blockstock. All youth bands, no one over age 30. Saturday: Blues diva Karin Ljungh and other performers

June 23, 24, 25
Smithers: Midsummer Festival
Genre: Roots, very eclectic
Features: Kris Demeanour & His Crack Band, Serena Ryder, Geoff Berner, the Cracker Cats, Meeks the Clown
No public camping, but shuttle available to local campgrounds.
Volunteer opportunities: 14 hours = weekend pass and all meals, includes onsite camping; Register online at
Info: 250.847.1971
Notes: One of the longest-running festivals in Northern B.C. Family-friendly atmosphere, high quality music, comprehensive kids’ area/activities.

June 30, July 1
Kincolith / Gingolx: Gingolx Crab Festival
Genre: Roots, rock, hip hop
Features: Dr. Hook, Powder Blue, Honeymoon Suite, Louisa Marshall (Tina Turner impersonator), Red Nation, Lorrie Church, George Leach, Junkyard Symphony , Stephanie Laing, Nisga’a Dancers
Camping: $20 for RVs, free for everyone else. Come prepared, as local facilities are limited.
Info: 250.326.2322
Notes: Nisga’a-flavoured festival! This native village, Gingolx (also called Kincolith) at the mouth of the Nass River offers great seafood, friendly welcoming atmosphere. Gingolx has had road access for only 3 years now, so few have discovered its quaint seaside charm and hospitality. Traditional Nisga’a singers, dancers and drummers are highlight of the event. Temporary restaurant: Fisherman’s Diner. Moor boats for free.

July 7, 8, 9
Atlin: Atlin Arts & Music Festival
Genre: Roots, blues, bluegrass, country, reggae, and more.
Features: Mamaguroove, Creaking Tree String Quartet, John Spearn, Terry Tufts, Leslie Alexander
Onsite public camping
Volunteer opportunities: 5 hours=Day pass; email to sign up.
Info: 250.651.0007
Notes: The Atlin Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that promotes the cross-cultural exchange of all forms of visual and performing art. Includes storytellers, children’s performers, clowns, film, and many music and art workshops, comedy, theatre, history, dance. Tickets are available at gate but advance tickets recommended. Call 1-867-393-4555 for tickets. This is an alcohol-free festival.

July 7, 8, 9
Tlell, Queen Charlotte Islands: Edge of the World Music Festival
Genre: Very eclectic: afrobeat, reggae, ska, punk, bluegrass, country, rap, soul etc.
Features: Mr. Something Something, Random Order, Five Star Homeless, Freeflow, Riptyde
Onsite public camping
Volunteer opportunities: 8 hours (adult), 6 hours (teen), or 4 hours on washrooms = weekend pass, call 250.626.3945 to sign up
Info: 250.637.2312
Notes: The Edge Festival is renowned for eclectic, high-quality music acts, intimate atmosphere, incredible location on private property opposite gorgeous sandy beach. Includes workshops by musicians and artisans.

July 7, 8, 9
Cedarvale: The Cedarvale Jamboree
Genre: mostly bluegrass, country, country rock
Features: local, regional bands.
Onsite public camping
No website at press time
Info: 250.849.5060
Notes: Music and camping for the entire family in tiny Cedarvale (about 45 km west of Hazelton, 115 km from Smithers, on Highway 16). Very casual, safe, and family-oriented, with clowns, campfire music jams. Bargain at $15/person for the weekend; 14 and under free. Food vendors onsite.

July 14, 15, 16
Fort St. James: Cottonwood Music Festival
Genre: bluegrass, country, celtic
Features: Tiller’s Folly, Evan Kemp, Lakeside Ramblers, Milburn Mountain Boys, Copper Mountain, Denny and Adam Stones from Quesnel, Rusty Bucket
Onsite public camping
Volunteer opportunities: 4 hours = Day pass; Call Winston, 250.996.7806
Info: 250.996.8524 (Norman)
Notes: One of the cheapest festivals going! Very friendly, everyone welcome to jam. Alcohol-free, family oriented, on beach at Stuart Lake. This year coincides with Ft. St. James’ 200th birthday.

July 13, 14, 15, 16
Quesnel: Billy Barker Days concerts
Genre: Fri/Sat night concerts emphasize country, light rock respectively
Features: George Fox, Nick Gilder & Sweeney Todd
No camping onsite
Volunteer opportunities: offers satisfaction of helping out! Call 250.992.1234.
Info: 250.992.1234
Notes: Billed as “BC’s number one family festival.” Absolutely free event attracts 5,000-10,000. Not strictly a music festival but there is musical entertainment throughout; themed entertainment on Seniors’ Day, Kids’ Day. Rock concert on Friday night, country/western concert on Saturday night in the park.

July 28, 29
Prince George: Prince George Folk Festival
Genre: Roots, rock, hip-hop
Features: Mathew Good, the Angel Brothers, Lozo and the Radikals, Ridley Bent, Wayne Lavallee, Kevin Breit, Ferron, Versus and many more
No camping
Notes: Northern B.C.’s largest, and one of its newest, folk festivals. High-quality, professional lineup; held in Fort George Park in Prince George.

July 28, 29, 30
Dawson Creek: Peace Country Bluegrass Festival
Genre: Bluegrass
Features: Hungry Hill Band, Sally Jones & the Sidewinders, Back Porch Swings, Lakeside Ramblers, Sweetwater Rounders
Public camping onsite
Volunteer opportunities: 8 hours = weekend pass, call 250.782.8237 to sign up
No website at press time
Info: 250.782.9325
Notes: Weekend of family fun & traditional bluegrass music. Great food, onsite camping, lots of jams.

July 28, 29, 30
Kispiox Valley (near Hazelton): Kispiox Valley Music Festival
Genre: Very eclectic: roots, rock, jazz, hip hop
Features: Kia Kadiri, Alexis Puentes, Le Hera, Maryem Tollar, Todd Butler, Ember Swift….
Public camping onsite
Volunteer opportunities: 24 hrs=weekend pass with food, 8 hours=pass, no food, 4 hours=day-pass
Info: 250.842.6442 or 250.842.6390
Notes: Intimate, family-focused, exquisitely beautiful setting… top-quality music, everyone welcome at many a memorable campfire music jam.

Aug. 5, 6
Tumbler Ridge: Grizfest Music Festival
Genre: Eclectic: roots, rock, country, jazz, Christian
Features: Doc Walker, Samantha King, Faber, The Plaid-Tongued Devils, St. James Gate, Udder Maddness, High Valley, Trooper (to be confirmed).
No public camping onsite, but shuttle to campgrounds available
Volunteer opportunities: 4 hrs=day pass, 8 hrs=weekend pass; sign up at 250.242 4246
Info: 250.242.4246
Notes: Family-oriented festival offering rock, jazz, country, classical and more. Children’s activities, beer garden.

Aug 11, 12, 13
Terrace: Terrace Riverside Music Festival
Genre: Roots
Features: Garry Fjellgaard, Lakeside Ramblers, Celtic Rain, Jim Littlehorse, Dr. Fishy, Willow Creek, Country & Stuff, Rene Therrien (old-time, Metis), Larry Boudreau
Public camping onsite
Web: (click on Events Calendar)
Info: 250.635.9537
Notes: Held on 70-acre private property just outside of Terrace. Bring your own drinking water (bottled water for sale onsite). Abundant music jams. All profits go to Children’s Fund.

Aug. 18, 19, 20
Kispiox Valley: Gospel Mountain Music Festival
Genre: Gospel music.
Features: local, regional musicians
Public camping onsite
Volunteer opportunities: offers satisfaction of helping out; sign up at 250. 842.6718
Info: 250.842.0141
Notes: The Gospel Mountain Music Festival is a gathering of Christian musicians, music lovers, and youth groups to share their love of God, and faith experience, with song. Free even— admission by donation. A collection will be taken for musicians. Mostly Northern musicians, everyone welcome.

Aug. 25, 26, 27
Dunster (near MacBride): Robson Valley Music Festival
Genre: Very eclectic: funk, gypsy-rock, country, Latin, reggae and more
Features: Mamaguroove, Plaid-Tongued Devils, Manjar, The Fabulous Beefeeders
Public camping onsite.
Volunteer opportunities: min. 20 hours = admission, meals all weekend; sign up at 250.968.4411
Info: 250.968.4411
Notes: See article on Robson Valley Music Festival, this issue.

Mid-Sept (date TBA)
Prince Rupert: Rolling on the River
Genre: Eclectic, to be determined
Features: TBA
No camping
Info: 250.627.1988
Notes: This is a one-day event which raises funds for the Cannery. Usually features local bands.

Sept. 24
Prince George: Rivers Day Festival
Genre: Rock, roots, country
Features: TBA
No camping
Info: 250.614.7824
Notes: This free event honours BC Rivers Day, and takes place in Fort George Park in Prince George.

© Larissa Ardis 2006