Vancouver has a brand new music festival

Westward Music Festival showcases a variety of genres at downtown venues

(Image courtesy of Westward Music Festival)

By: Tessa Perkins

While there are plenty of music festivals in BC, Vancouver has been lacking its own event that doesn’t require a road trip to enjoy the tunes. With no more Pemberton or Squamish festivals, it’s time we had a similar event right in our own backyard.

     Enter Westward Music Festival, a new, multi-day, multi-venue, multi-genre festival that is an opportunity for music lovers to celebrate the end of summer in Vancouver with world-class local and international artists. From September 14–17, the festival will take over the Vogue Theatre, Biltmore Cabaret, Imperial Theatre, Fox Cabaret, and Venue.   

     Each concert will feature a wide range of genres. For example, Indigenous DJ group A Tribe Called Red shares the bill on September 17 at Venue with local indie songstress Hannah Georgas, New York’s brass house group Too Many Zooz, and Toronto hip-hop artist Clairmont the Second. Another stacked lineup is on September 16 with rapper Vince Staples, singer-songwriter Charlotte Day Wilson, jazz group Busty and the Bass, indie duo joan, and pop artist Ralph.

“a new, multi-day, multi-venue, multi-genre festival that is an opportunity for music lovers to celebrate the end of summer in Vancouver”

     Local indie groups, Dear Rouge, and Little Destroyer will join forces at the Imperial on September 15, and New York City rock ‘n’ rollers, Gov’t Mule are sure to bring the house down at the Vogue on September 17. On the same day, at the Biltmore, an all-Canadian bill features Calgary’s R&B duo, Beach Season as well as Vancouver R&B/hip-hop artist Jake Hope, and Halifax’s electro-pop group Neon Dreams.

     Also on the card is Los Angeles-based Bishop Briggs whose single “River” is gaining a lot of attention, as well as the also LA-based post-hardcore band Touché Amoré, LA duo Courtship, San Francisco rapper Watsky, Boston rapper Cousin Stizz, Australian hip-hop trio Bliss n Eso, Brooklyn-based R&B songstress Alayna whose voice is full of soul, Toronto punk rockers PUP, Toronto alternative act Grandson, and Victoria’s electronic indie duo, Liinks.

     Vancouver’s Youngblood will bring her soulful electronic grooves to the Vogue with Liinks and Bishop Briggs. Rounding out the roster of local talents are Gang Signs, Peregrine Falls, Spruce Trap, Art D’Ecco, Goodwood Atoms, Pretty Filthy Hearts, Brass, Sightlines, the Cut Losses, Windmills, Maiwah, and Goldstepz.

     Tickets are available via or at Red Cat Records, and a full festival pass will run you $224.50. Single show tickets range from $7 to $59.50. Presented by MRG Concerts, owners of the Vogue and Biltmore, Westward is poised to become an annual end-of-summer tradition for Vancouver’s music scene. Let’s hope this one sticks around.