If you have woken up hungover to find your wrists covered in beaded bracelets, and perhaps your body covered in filth, then you may have been to a music festival in British Columbia this past summer.
Whether they’re in some remote forest in the corner of the province or in the shadow of a mountain, B.C. is home to some of North America’s best festival experiences.
For those who may be having mosh-pit, flower crown, and shuffle withdrawals, here are seven highlights from this year’s music fests that will have you reminiscing on those epic weekends that turn into lifelong memories.
Building inukshuks at Camping 4.0
Camping 4.0 is a grassroots, electronic music festival deep in the woods of Hope that truly embraces nature. In its fourth year, what started with a small group of friends has grown to more than 250 attendees.
Located right next to a freshwater creek, several people began making inukshuks this year. One stone landmark multiplied into others, and there was soon a garden of perfectly balanced rocks sticking out of the waterway.
Excision at Shambhala
Located outside of Nelson, the Shambhala Music Festival is well known for well-rounded line-ups that showcase the sub-genres within electronic music.
(Photo by Ændrew Rininsland/Flickr)
Since 2008, dubstep artist Excision has made Shambhala a stop on his summer tour and every year the set gets better. The Kelowna native's dirty, aggressive wubs combined with a colossal sound system made for a seriously good time at this year’s Salmo Ranch rager.
Sam Smith’s killer vocals
Sam Smith almost didn’t make it to the Squamish Valley Music Festival this summer. In mid-April, the international pop star was forced to cancel tour dates after discovering he had a hemorrhage on his vocal chords. The recovery time cut it dangerously close to his Squamish date.
But he made it, he killed it, and all the little sailors (Smith’s pet name for his fans) were able to belt, “I know I’m not the only one” out of key while tears of joy streamed down their cheeks.
Mainstream music festival hits Surrey
(Photo: John Biehler/Flickr)
The inaugural FVDED in the Park festival showcased multiple genres of music in Surrey’s Holland Park, including house, dubstep, hip-hop and R&B, as well as world-famous artists The Weeknd and Deadmau5.
Billed as Surrey’s first multi-day, mainstream festival, organizers chose the suburb instead of Vancouver due to proximity to transit and the 14 acres of park space. It was a vibrant event that showed off how far Holland Park and Surrey have come.
When the show went on at Pemberton Fest
The Pemberton Music Festival almost got too hot this year. Devastating forest fires crept dangerously close to the festival grounds, but thanks to fire crews and some co-operative weather, the show did go on.
Missy Elliot, J.Cole and Jack U burned up Pemby Fest on stage instead.
(Photo: Rob Loud/Flickr)
Going bananas at DADA life
The best on-stage dance party belonged to DADA life and dozens of fans dressed as bananas at Pemby Fest. The progressive-house duo from Sweden is famous for an obsession with champagne and bananas — so much so that fans often dress up, or bring their own inflatable versions of the fruit and bubbly.
So. Many. Bananas.
Center of Gravity
Mix together music, sports and bikini’s and you have Center of Gravity! Electronic dance music and hip-hop artists play while professional athletes compete in skateboarding, wakeboarding and mountain biking.
(Photo: Greg Williams/Flickr)
This year, the festival added an "adrenaline zone" where thrill-seekers could throw on a water jetpack and fly over Okanagan lake, or jump in the human-sized hamster ball and embrace their inner animal.
We can't wait to see what next year's festivals bring to B.C.!